Med school came through for Alan. Both kids went in my direction. I didn't realize I was a good influence, or maybe I wasn't. My kids inherited my diligence and tenacity, maybe a tendency to not take themselves or their talent too seriously. More importantly though, for all my hard work, for all my tendency to complain about people and circumstances, I never belittled my medical colleagues except in a humorous way. Same with patients. Some can be pretty irritating but my willingness to let these annoyances proceed in stride probably made them wonder sometimes why I did not always treat them with the same placid manner. Eventually they realized it is because I expected more of them than I do of patients. Both kids rose to the occasion.
While I might have like to have more for retirement set aside than I now can, I cannot think of a more valid personal legacy well worth the financial consequences.