I realized something tonight.

I was talking to my sister in the kitchen, and she mentioned something that immediately caught my attention: “I forgot [so and so] went to our school.”

It was a simple statement really, I mean people leave school or transfer all the time. But something about this was different. This person, as far as I knew, grew up in the FH district. They’ve gone here their whole lives, and yet in a matter of a few years, they were already forgotten.

That got me thinking. How does that happen? How can years of building relationships with people and a school be broken down as if they never made an indent?

How can that be? Is it our fault? Or is it to be expected that once you leave, you are forgotten?

I often find myself thinking about the type of impact I will leave behind as I walk out of these halls for the last time next May. I think about if teachers will mention anything I was a part of to their future students. I think about what I will be remembered by. But, what if we’re thinking about it all wrong? What if we’re not remembered at all?

What do we do in that case?

Can all that we have built turn out to be only sandcastles and washed away with the simple coming in of the tide?

Or does our time simply run out, and are our memories all forgotten in due time?

But, what if this is all wrong? What if we are remembered but only by the people that matter?

I never forgot that person who went to our school. Their memory never left me. I still think about how they’re doing, and I still even keep in contact.  So that brings up the idea: we are remembered by the people we matter to.

I’ve been thinking about it all wrong. I’ve been concerned about what I will be remembered for, which is something I don’t think is wrong. I think we should strive to leave good impressions and leave this world easier to tread on by the imprints we left behind. We can’t get so caught up in the fact. We should also concern ourselves with who we will be remembered by.

And despite what many believe, we only need to be remembered by a few to keep our history alive.

We don’t need to be remembered by everyone as the top student, athlete, or artist, because that’s unrealistic. We are remembered by those that we matter to. So in that case, matter to someone. Love people, give your all to them, bring them happiness and smiles, leave them with a memory that can’t be washed away with the strongest of waves.

We will be remembered by what we do but also by who we do it to. You don’t have to be happy all the time to bring happiness to someone else’s life, just make them feel happy. This is not an arduous task we must face, but a privilege we have bestowed upon us. We get to be remembered by however we choose. We can’t control the waves of remembrance, but we can influence where we build our castles so that they are out of reach from the water.

I don’t want to be forgotten when I graduate, but I know in time I will be. And that will be OK. As long as I live on in at least one person’s memory, just to know I made a difference in their lives. Because we don’t have to be remembered by all, just by all who we positively touched. One impact is still an impact and one change in this chaotic world is still a change that was made.

Sandcastles are memorable in their own way, but they last longer when we take the time to build them away from the water. That way, no matter who visits the beach, they will see that castle and know that someone was here. Someone made that, even if they don’t know who.