Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Family Legacy ... Relationships

When I began blogging, my primary objective was to pass down memories and values to my granddaughter Lucy. Well, since then Lucy has become a big sister to Tag (who is turning 1 in just a couple of weeks).  So, I want my grandchildren to have a sense of who I am and why I am the way I am.  I want them to learn from my life experiences and value relationships in their lives as I have in mine.  In a nutshell ... 

I want them to have something they can share with their future generations about me ... 
their Granny.

One thing I learned very early in my life was how important family relationships are for understanding family histories and how to prepare future generations to value family relationships as they carry on previous legacies.  I know I sound redundant, but I honestly believe I grew up in a privileged family.  My Granny's house sat in the middle of my aunts, uncles & cousins ... there were 7 of us cousins who were born within 7 years of each other ... 3 older cousins were within a similar age ... and then my sister is almost 9 years younger than me.

Our Granny was the center of our family.  Poppy had passed away before I came along, so I never knew either of my grandfathers.  But, Granny was so very special to all of us ... and to our little community.  She was always doing for others ... whether helping out with her grandkids or helping a stranger stranded along the road ... she was our matriarch (and I say that with the most sincere heart). She taught us not only through her words, but most importantly through her actions ... her everyday living ... through her heart. 

Granny was the WYSIWYG of our family ... no, I'm certainly not disrespecting my Granny, this is actually one of the most accurate ways I know to describe her:

What You See Is What You Get

 She never acted a certain way for this person or that person ... she treated everyone with respect ... and she put everyone's needs above her own.

I still remember the time a motorcyclist got caught in a torrential downpour and asked her if he could park his bike under one of her trees until the storm had past.  Not only did Granny allow him to do this, but she welcomed him into her house and made him some lunch. After that, he became a friend to all of our family and would stop by when he was passing through.  

And there's story after story of how my Granny was such a respected pillar of our community.  She held on to her faith and values ... and never allowed anyone to sway her away from them.  
She loved her God ... she loved her family ... and she loved her life.

I feel that I was doubly blessed in my childhood to not only have my Granny as my Granny, but my parents & I lived with her and my aunt for several years.  As my parents both worked 2 jobs each before they were able to build a house of their own (which was just up the hill from Granny's house), I was blessed to be my Granny's little shadow. I started helping her wall-paper when I was 4 years old (my granddaughter Lucy's age now). I helped her work in her vegetable garden and her flower gardens.  We would sit on her back porch and talk for hours of her childhood & our family.  She helped shape me into the person I am today.

 One most important aspect that my Granny showed me through her life was to always put God first and then others second.  God is our steadfast hope & eternal life ... and we honor Him by putting His children's needs before our own.  I've found throughout my adult life that I am more at peace when I live by even that one principle ... God first, then others, lastly me.

I often ask myself what will my legacy be to my daughter and my grandchildren.  God saw fit for my Granny to see her first great-granddaughter (my daughter) before He called her Home a few months later.  My daughter did not know her great-Granny personally, but I hope she has seen her spirit and her values through me.  My granddaughter Lucy is the namesake of my Granny (also Lucy).  I can see some of my Granny's qualities and personality through our little Lucy already.  And while I would love to keep our Lucy a 4 year old forever, I look forward to seeing how she will be shaped into her own person through her family values & relationships.


Many people looked surprised that I refer to myself as a "stay at home Granny" ... when our daughter announced that my husband & I were going to be grandparents, without any second guessing or hesitation, I began calling myself "Granny".  It's my daily prayer that I will at least be a small portion to my grandchildren as my Granny was to me.  

In some regards, it truly doesn't seem that long ago that I was my Granny's little shadow ... and now, I have my own little shadows. Time keeps ticking and life keeps changing ... but our family relationships are what keeps our legacies and values alive. I've only got one opportunity to show my grandchildren just "who" their Granny truly is ... for one day they will be hopefully pass this blog post to their future generations and say 

"Let me tell you about your Granny ..."

1 comment:

Doris said...

Oh, sweet friend, what a heart warming post! I just love it that you lived with your Grandmother and now you are living with your Grandchildren. So special. Family is important, relationships are precious and being intentional about what you leave will surely have lasting effects.

I can't wait to live with our Aidan and we hope it's soon!