Or maybe just swim in the deep end, in your bikini, with stretch marks and your bathing suit that you have had for 10yrs…
What will your living legacy be?
The moment you lay eyes on your child for the first time, be it an ultrasound at the doctors office, a picture from the adoption agency, the delivery room, a video chat and then the first time your child is placed in your arms no matter what age they become yours it’s inevitable that you begin to wonder what you will leave for them, the Legacy that becomes part of the Story for generations to come.
This is not about the legacy you live when you are no longer living, this is about the legacy you leave with everyone whose lives you touch.
Today my husband and I will pack our kids and drive into Ohio to celebrate his Grandmother, Nana for her 90th birthday. She is one of two Great-Grandmothers that our children are still blessed to have as such a tremendously important part of their lives. We are not the only ones, she is so well loved that all of the family has made it point to be here to celebrate her. California, Texas, all parts of Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
It makes me wonder. Have I done enough, will I do enough, am I enough to be loved when I’m 90.
Marriage. Children. Grandchildren. Great-Grandchildren.
The answer I think comes in what I have learned from a few great women. Nana as the grandkids, great grands and in-laws seem to call her, is not a doctor, a lawyer or fashionista.
She does however make the best cheese noodle casserole (completely fat and calorie free of course) so good that most of the granddaughters ask her to make an extra pan for leftovers to be split at the end of every holiday gathering. Recently she has passed the torch on making this deliciousness, she also introduced me to something called hard sauce, I’m still not exactly sure what it is or if I even like it, but the tradition and love she puts into it makes me smile that its on the desert table. She’s the only women I have known in my life to make rhubarb pie, I really didn’t think this was an actual real thing that existed somewhere other then little house on the prairie books.
At 72 she welcomed her first great-grandchild, somewhere around 75 she went for a ride on a motorcycle, at 80 she went parasailing with me the in-law and her oldest grand-daughter, at 85 she was still boogie boarding and building sandcastles. When we moved into our new home four years ago when she was 86 she taught me how to wallpaper and helped make her oldest great granddaughters room look like its from a magazine! and these are just my stories from one branch of the family.
Nana is slowing down a bit, but she is still always surrounded by those who love her.
Although I’ve never asked her I’m willing to bet that she never stayed out of the pool because she didn’t like the way she looked in a bathing suit, or chose not to invite people over because she thought her house was to messy and she didn’t think anyone would like her cooking.
She lived and is living.
She Loved and is loved.
She has taught and is not a” teacher”.
This is the legacy we can all hope to live, not to leave but to live it now, in the present by being present.
So to you Nana I raise my glass to your next 90 years and the legacy you have lived for all us to follow.