I believe in leaving a legacy
I remember the night she died. I just settled in for the evening when my mother called. To me it was a normal night and a normal check-in call. It never occurred to me my parents wouldn’t normally call after 10pm; it never occurred to me why my mother would ask if I was home alone; and it never occurred to me why my mother’s voice was a little different. But it was, and this was no longer a normal night, my grandmother had died.
Precious memories of my grandmother came flooding back that evening, and suddenly she wasn’t quite as mean as my once juvenile mind thought. Even in her late eighties and living in a nursing home she wanted to know all about my life and the lives of my parents and siblings. She continued to challenge us, wanting us to succeed and have the entire world at our fingertips.
I was probably more energetic child than my grandmother could handle and didn’t always act like the lady I was supposed to be. We weren’t close. I wish more than anything I had taken the time to get to know her better. I wish I visited her more and learned more about her life as a young woman.
My grandmother has been gone for six years, and now as an adult, I can see she was different. She possessed something I want for my own life. She treated people with kindness and freely gave her love and grace to anyone who crossed her path. She may have strongly expressed her opinions about how I shouldn’t chew my fingernails or scolded me over having grass stains on my pants, but I now know she only did it out of love.
I recall moments of her loving spirit, generosity toward others and a firm belief in the good of people. I never saw this when I was younger. Like most teenagers, I guess I could not get past my own selfish desires to care about something or someone more than me. Now that I have a family of my own, I know what sacrifice means.
Through her example, my grandmother created a legacy. She wanted me to live fully, without limitations to what I could become or what I could do. She wanted me to have every opportunity to succeed. She wanted me to love people and live freely and unconditionally as she had. Money and possessions will come and go in this life, but her values of love, generosity and hope remain.
My grandmother left a profound and lasting affect on my life that will be treasured far longer than any possession. She left a legacy: a legacy of her beliefs, her values, and her desires for life. It’s legacy I hope to continue and pass down to my own family. I believe in leaving a legacy.