Within each of us are stories that have the power to inspire, challenge, motivate and guide generations of our families.The truth is, there is no such thing as an ordinary life. And the stories of our lives are the greatest legacy we can leave to our families and loved ones. Martin Forrestal is dying. From his hospital bed, he conceives a plan to share the stories from his life that will be his greatest legacy to his family. He wants them to know who he was, understand what he believed in, appreciate what he fought for, and see exactly how values shaped and guided his life. Martin takes up a pad of paper, and in large letters writes: What Matters? During a long night of reflection, eighty-two year old Martin identifies the values that matter most to him. His list begins with the value of Love. By the time the sun is rising outside his hospital window, he has identified fourteen values, from Responsibility to Family Unity. As family and friends come to say their good-byes, Martin records his stories. The action of the novel flows back and forth across more than a century, from an icy mountain cave where he was trapped by an avalanche with his Scout Troop, to a tiny coral island in the Pacific that saw some of WW II s bloodiest combat. From a pioneer cabin in old Montana on Christmas morning, to the sweeping plains of the Argentine pampas, Martin recounts how each of the values on his list were forged into his character. He is not financially wealthy. But he knows that by sharing What Matters with generations of his family, he is passing a far more important and enduring legacy than material wealth. What Matters brims with original stories, heartfelt emotions, and the eloquence of simple truths. Many of the chapters can be enjoyed as stand-alone stories.