Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Legacy

Can you tell I'm incredibly bored at work today... thus the multiple posts. In thinking about life, and the concept that I am, inevitably becoming my mother in at least some ways, I started thinking back further. To my grandparents, great grandparents, and beyond. How did their lives influence mine? That reminded me of something I wrote during my single-semester stint at the Baylor Lariat during college. There's more to come on this topic, but I wanted to get it started.

Old legacy still guides young lives

April 21, 2006

My grandparents would have celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary this week, but they didn't because when I was only 2 years old, my Papa Bill went home to Jesus.

Being so small, I only understood that he was gone. I had no idea what an effect his life would have on mine.

My father and his brothers and sister still talk about their childhood and the man my grandfather was. I can hear the love he and my grandmother shared in her voice whenever she's speaks of him.

A few years ago at a family reunion, my uncle put together a slideshow of my grandfather's life, and for the first time I realized what a legacy one person could leave behind. Even my siblings and cousins, who never knew him, understand that his and my grandmother's relationship with each other, and eventually with God, is the foundation for our family and for our future.

Sixteen years later, when my other dearly-loved grandfather went to heaven, I saw all of this again, only this time I understood it.

These two men are more than just part of my gene pool. They are figures who guided their families through good times and bad, who probably made as many bad decisions as good ones. And yet it is the good ones that we remember. The moments of laughter, and sometimes of tears, are what make up the history of our lives.

The stories of my grandparents and my parents will be passed onto my children and grandchildren. Stories of the past are what intrigue and entertain the children of the future.

In two weeks I will finish my third year here at Baylor. In one more year I'll be gone, out to make my mark on the world.

That thought terrifies me. I spend most of my time trying to convince myself that I can graduate and get out of college without actually entering "the real world."

But that's reality. Most of my friends are already carefully planning out the next few years of their lives. New jobs, homes and marriages will make up the next few years. The beginnings of a thousand legacies will be born. One of my grandmothers was 17 when she got married; the other was only a few years older. Neither side of my family was ever wealthy, but the wealth of love and history they provided has passed down to their children and to me and the other grandchildren.

I can only hope that I can have as much success as they did.

So here's the "food for thought," what's the legacy of your family? What kind of legacy will you leave behind?

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