Erica’s Cancer Journey: What is a legacy?

(Photo by Will Dendis)

A legacy of love surrounds you:
That part is here to stay.
Even when my body’s gone,
I’m never far away.

“What is a legacy?” you wonder.
Well, let’s see!
You just might discover
New things about me.

This legacy box is a way to connect
Our past, present, future combined.
I’ve written up memories about you, me and Dad;
I delight in the treasures you’ll find!


These stories and photos
Are all meant to show
How your Mom, Dad and beloveds
Hope you’ll feel that love grow.

May my legacy be loving you,
Filled with light, laughs and tears.
I hope you build your own legacies
Over the years.

Inside this box are pictures and stuff.
Each recipe and ornament –
Are these mementos enough
To bring you some comfort when life gets too rough?

My favorites are the videos
Of everyday life,
From being your Mama
To being your Dad’s wife.

May my legacy help you to trust your own way.
Your life is your own, new beginnings each day.
May these gifts support you, reminders to see
How I view and hear you, and a deeper glimpse into me.

When you turn 18, 21 and 30,
D and Q,
On each step of your journey
Count on me loving you.

To my husband, my love, my very best friend,
Your brilliance, your wit, the Die Hard “Christmas movie” you defend.
Paris, LA, Montreal in the snow –
Whenever you want to laugh like old times,
Just “Let minnow.”

When my presence is no longer seen with your eyes,
Look for me in new ways, like a hawk in the skies.
Whether I am near or far,
May my legacy help you remember who you are.

Each memory surrounded with beauty, light, and glory.
We live, love and laugh;
This is our legacy,
This is our story.

Love, Erica

Kids’ Almanac columnist Erica Chase-Salerno was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in the Summer of 2015. To read more about her experience, visit

There are 2 comments

  1. Elga

    Dear Erica,
    I have followed your writing in the Almanac for almost a year now.
    I have been moved by your honesty. I wish that one I lost
    to cancer could have realized that death was possible.

    What beautiful guidance your words bring.
    How brave! What love. Thank you.

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