I remember meeting Aiden Carr as I walked down the sun baked road in Monks Corner, SC. He asked for my name, which should have prompted me to know that we might become fast friends. Over the next ten years Father Christian taught me lessons my father taught me, my uncles taught me, and my grandfathers taught me. In fact- what Christian said that day kinda shocked me. He said,”hat maker from England.” Somehow I did not know this info. How did I not know about my own name? How did he know better than me? I hadn’t ever had someone pay such close attention to me and my story, and I had never had someone teach me so quickly about myself.

As I have recently said a final “goodbye” to my father, I have been thinking non stop about legacy, words, and the best way to help people.

My father, Dr. Joseph o Milner, in his typical manner was supportive and encouraging of just about everyone who came within ear shot. However, in a conversation one of his students recalled in the Wake Forest Magazine, he said something that reminds me of things he said to me,”Kim, Duke is a fine school, and you’ll certainly do well there, but Wake Forest could benefit from a great mind like yours. … I hope you’ll consider us.”

You see, legacy is about something underneath the hood. Legacy is about the boiling engine underneath, the spot where the power of the car ignites. Father Christian, my dad, and my grandfather Sappie, all gave me one blessing- it was the blessing to acknowledge my own importance. Thats it. Full stop. 🛑

And underneath the words there was a presence, an attentive presence. Almost as if God was visiting me like an angel. Now that is some legacy.