Leaving Your Mark on the World

Last blog, I wrote about the death of Rebecca Jeanne Gore, a nineteen year old woman I recently met.  The weekend I met Becca things were pretty hectic, so while I got a chance to talk with her a little bit, I didn’t get an opportunity to know her in any sort of depth.

It took her death to do that.

Rebecca’s obituary in the Nacogdoches (TX) Daily Sentinel is there for anyone to read (http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dailysentinel/obituary.aspx?n=rebecca-jeanne-gore&pid=151756836).  If you look at it, I’m willing to bet you’ll be as stunned as I was.

Let me give you a recap:

In nineteen short years, Becca (having been home schooled) began college during her sophomore year of high school (yes, you read that right), majoring in criminal justice and psychology.  She was an intern with the Nacogdoches Police Department, helping the officers with incidental tasks in order to free them up for other work.

She pursued an interest in equine assisted therapy.   Her dream was to work for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency as a means to fight human sex trafficking.  With that in mind, she began her own ministry — Rendered Hope Outreach  (http://renderedhope.org) — whose main goal is to help the homeless and stop sex trafficking.

Wow.  All in 19 years.  The thought leaves me impressed . . . stunned . . . and humbled.  I’ve lived almost three times as long as Becca.  What have I contributed to the world?  What have any of us?

Becca’s favorite quote comes from Helen Keller:  “I may be one, but I am one.  I may not be able to do everything, but I can do something.”

Too often when we think about all the things that need to be done in this world — save the environment, feed hungry children, stop war, fight prejudice, the list goes on and on.  We become overwhelmed by the sheer enormity and then choose to do nothing.  Many of us think, “I’m only one person.  What good can I do?”

Well, the beauty if it is that you don’t have to do ALL of it.  Pick one thing (or two or three, if you feel particularly motivated) and do that.  Volunteer at your local hospital, nursing home, Hospice, animal shelter, community kitchen, or school.  Plant trees.  Clean up a beach or state park.  Embrace a green lifestyle.  Practice random acts of kindness.  There are myriad ways of contributing to life on dear old Mother Earth.

In honor of Rebecca, which will yours be?


About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
This entry was posted in Anger, child abuse, Connecticut, death, dying, Environment, Essays, Fear, Friendship, Gratitude, Grief, Hospice, Independent Writers, Kindness, Loss, love, Melissa Crandall, Memory, Rebecca Jeanne Gore, self-publishing, Women, Writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Leaving Your Mark on the World

  1. Hello, Melissa,

    I’m doing two things that maybe will help someone. I help at Blessed Sacrament with Spanish speaking people who need help with English and I contribute each month to our food pantry at church, mostly Hispanic foods, although when the garden comes in I will send our extras (or have David take them) over to the church where folks can come and get fresh vegetables for free.
    Sorry I was so late getting this reply to your blog – you know what it’s like during canning season down here!

  2. Reginna Gore says:

    Hi Melissa,
    This is Reginna Gore. Rebecca’s mom. Thank you for your insightful ponderings on our Rebecca. What a huge hole her short little life has left. So much undone. I pray for the courage to honor her by fulfilling our “one thing” with as much determination and courage as she had. Your kind words were much appreciated. You should read some of her speeches she wrote!!! Beginning at age 12! Wow.

    • Hi Reginna. Thank you so much for writing. It was my pleasure (and, in a way, my duty) to write about Rebecca. What a delightful young woman you raised! My heart is with you and your family as you begin the long process of healing, but I know that you will all do Becca proud as you go out into the world to make your contributions. I would love to read some of her speeches if you would care to share them with me. You can reach me at my email: mcrandall50@yahoo.com
      Thanks again for writing. Peace to you all.

  3. JoAnna says:

    Hi my name is JoAnna. I was Rebecca’s best friend growing up. I am with the family right now and we just read your post. Her mother liked the one about making a change and we would like to ask permission to post it in other places on the internet. Not all of them, just this post. Please get back with me, thank you!

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