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“…her family will remember her fondly…”

The topic of today’s blog is death. My death. If this leaves you a little uncomfortable, don’t worry. It won’t last long. I’m not terminally ill. . . only terminally nerdy. . . and find a reason to over-think from the most mundane everyday situations.  So how is it that I got from doing laundry and homework to thinking about the end of my life? I think it might have been the laundry and the homework.

I saw the movie The Bucket List in 2008, and it started me thinking about what my legacy would be if I died today.  Is it the kind of legacy I would want to leave for my daughter? Since I cannot foretell the future, I have decided to have my obit written now (thanks Annette for great writing!) in hopes that it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. And if not, to my surviving BFFs, please print it anyway. 😉

Shayna Andrews

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Shayna Andrews, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., passed away (Date).

Shayna was a woman of character who followed her faith unwaveringly and with conviction. She danced till the end – no matter  how ugly it got. She never let pride run her life and was never afraid to take a chance, enjoying the small, daily moments of her life. She knew how to laugh and laughed often. She was the wife that her husband always dreamed of having and he and the rest of her family will remember her fondly for all these qualities as well as her amazing feat of never letting brownies get her fat!

Now, I can’t think about the end of my life without thinking about all that I would like to do in my life. Interestingly, when I was 12 or 13, my 2 best friends and I each wrote a “bucket list”. I happened to come across it for the first time since having written it about 10 years ago in a hope chest that I had special mementos in. I wish I had it now. Sadly, it was part of the ruins in the collapse of my marriage. The lone piece of paper was hidden in a journal bound in floral fabric. The top of the page read: Things I want to do before I die. Below it, in cursive embellished with hearts and flowers, read a list of 10 things. Those I recall are:

Learn how to speak French fluently *Accomplished
Have a boyfriend for six months *Accomplished (Oh the lofty goals of tweens!)
River rafting *Accomplished
Learn to play the drums*Accomplished in my grown-up dancer way – TAPPING!

Inspired by the movie, I made a grown up version of that tween “bucket list”. Though I often think I’ve filled my life with such great wisdom, the truth is the only wisdom I have really obtained is that I am still growing. Therefore, though my obit is a final statement, my “bucket list” is more like a living statement, one that changes and grows with me. I hope both keep me focused on a journey of living fully and living with purpose.

My Bucket List at 35:

Go back to school *Accomplishing 
Study French and Spanish simultaneously
Take Isabel to Paris
Go on an African safari
Salsa dance in Puerto Rico
Tango in Argentina
Visit Costa Rica
Visit the Statue of Liberty *Accomplished 3.2014
Swim with the dolphins
Go whale watching
Spend an obscene amount of money shopping one day
Go to Tiffany’s and buy the one piece of jewelry that I really want
Own my home outright
Buy my best friend a home
Own a dog *Accomplished 4.2014
Complete 1/2 marathon in 3 hours *Accomplished 1.18.09
Move from Phoenix *Accomplished 7.18.10
See my daughter living out the life she was destined for
Marry my best friend and love of my life *Accomplished 6.12.14
Make out in the back of the movie theater

Additions to My Bucket List at 38:

Open a performing arts school
Work with or follow in the footsteps of For The Love of Dance Foundation to further the opportunities for young people to dance
Write a book
Keep a garden
Do the Murfreesboro, Nashville, Memphis 1/2 marathons in the same year – each injury free! *Accomplished 12.1.12
Train and compete in Pro/Am ballroom and Latin competitions
Have a photograph showing in a gallery
Visit Chicago *Accomplished 2.20.11
Visit Seattle
Visit Charleston
Visit Atlanta *Accomplished 2.12.11
Visit New Orleans
Visit Savannah *Accomplished 6.30.14
Visit Boston
Visit Philadelphia
Visit Miami, Key West, and the Everglades
Visit the Great Lakes
Visit Yellowstone
Visit Mt. Rushmore

Zipline in Belize *Accomplished 6.2014 (in Honduras)

What do you want to do before you die?

What would you like your legacy to be?


  1. I just wrote a post this week about the number of funerals I’ve been to this year and how, even though I’ve long been working on my life list, each of these celebrations of life have reminded me that much more how fleeting life really is. I wish the best on your adventures!

  2. Shayna

    I am sorry to hear about the losses you have had this year yet encouraged that you celebrate their lives by embracing the opportunities in your own.. Life is fleeting, even when lived to an old age.

    Thank you for visiting my blog!

  3. Isabel Andrews

    NOT TRUE!! She did accomplish being a drummer because I (her daughter) am one

  4. Teresa

    🙂 You should pick up the book “Grave Expectations”…I bought it a few years ago…not exactly on the level of bucket list, but in the ball park and a great read/planner. An old girlfriend just called me recentlyabout a mutual friend we’d lost contact with who passed away at 36. I’ve been thinking about making my list 🙂 Agreed…life is fleeting.

    • Shayna

      That sounds cool! Thanks for the recommendation. I’m going to pick it up. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Once In My Life | Southern Girl Photography | Nashville Photographer

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