Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Voice from the Past

I hear her voice so many times, the one woman in my life that meant more to me than any other.  I don’t know much about the life she led when she was young.  I know that she grew up on a farm in Wisconsin.  I know her mother passed away and that her father remarried.  I know she felt left like a step-child at times.  I remember stories about kittens in the barn when lightning struck, spinning doughnuts in the car on the ice back in Wisconsin when the lakes froze over and I remember her telling stories about playing with her sister Lucile.  But I never knew much about her life.  I wish I had paid more attention.  No longer is she here to tell me stories.  My Grandmother Julia was an incredibly strong woman.  I owe her an incredible debt of gratitude for the love and kindness along with the stability she brought into my life.  I owe her my strong work ethic and my integrity.  I owe her my independence and my strength.  These are all amazing things she gave to me whether she knew it or not.

I see pictures of her like the one attached below.  I have another in my living room.  I don’t know if she ever knew how much I loved her.  Things got so chaotic for me in the last years of her life.  I wished I had taken more time to know her as a woman, ask her to tell me more of her stories, more about what she thought and cared about.  I don’t even know how she met my Grandfather.  He passed away when I was very young.   I regret that I didn’t take more time but one thing is for sure, she gave me so many beautiful gifts that I treasure.  Her legacy of strength, integrity and kindness lives on in me and I’m most certain those qualities live on in my children.   She was more than my Grandmother.  She was selflessly a mother to me as aggravating as I’m sure that was.  I was no easy child to raise.  I was head strong as the day is long but she let me be that and she did so with gentleness and quiet observance.  I’m sure sometimes I must have driven her crazy but I knew that she always loved me.  That mattered a lot to me.

It’s important to pay attention to some voices from the past.  Especially, the ones that fill us with love, wonder and respect.  There are amazingly influential people in our lives and I’m so grateful that she was in mine.  As I look back at what she gave to me, I am very conscious now of the legacy I must leave behind—the gifts that I must leave for my grandchildren and their grandchildren.  I hope above hope I can live up to her standard and keep those beautiful gifts passing on down through the generations that come after I’m gone.  It’s something I want to do for her.

Who was influential for you growing up?  What legacies did they leave for you?  Are you passing those legacies on in a good light?  This time we have is only borrowed time.  This place we walk will one day be a gift to our children’s children.  In times as tough as ours, it seems we might want to be more mindful of what we leave behind us as we make our way through the Earth school. 

Where ever you are Grandma, I'm sorry for being such a pain at times and I want to thank you for the love you gave me anyway, for the strength and for everything else you blessed my life with.  I love you!

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