What you leave in death tells a story about your life

The man who should read this can’t. Last weekend, I, along with over 50 other people who probably never met Mr. Jacob Jones Hendricks, who died in February 2014, walked through the home where he lived. We were recipients of free items that had not sold at the estate sale arranged by his family members. I wish he knew the honor I have for those free items I now own.

I write this because I became reflective of myself. What will I leave? Will it mean something?

Mr. Hendricks worked a lifetime, doing good works and, according to his obituary, he provided service to others in many ways. His achievements range from joining the Alaska Territorial Guard during WW II to working as a public servant for City and Borough of Juneau and serving with several civic groups (one being the Shriners, mentioned because donations from his estate after expenses went to the good works the Shriners do).

When the family opened the doors to Mr. Hendrick’s home, they allowed the line of people to take anything and everything for free. Many did. Some were not aware of the significance of this event. To some it was free stuff. To me and others I spoke to, we did so with it being some sort of gift from Mr. Hendricks. If he was watching, I think he would have been pleased with how people acted, how they interacted with each other without a frenzy. I am sure people valued what he left, and what he left, even in death, went to serve others.

I spoke with Corey, a relative of Mr. Hendricks. She said, after the sale of property from the estate sale paid for the costs of the estate, his property was left to others for free and yet there was a donation bowl for the Shriners with many dollars inside. I even went back and pulled more cash out of my wallet, because if Mr. Hendricks spent a lifetime making a difference, I could afford to do a little more in his memory. I was honored by his items I took for free.

The message to me: What will I leave in my life? Will I leave something in death that will make a difference in the life of someone else like Mr. Hendricks did? I sure hope so.

Thank you Mr. Hendricks. I’ll try a little harder because you did, too.

Ron Quinsey



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