What legacy did she live me---she has been gone almost 15 years---what did she teach me, show me, or emulate to me that is a lasting part of who I am? How does she resonate within me-all these years later? What was her legacy?
Tenaciousness - Momma's life was not easy. I watched as a child as she became the effective head of the family as my father battled alcoholism. She not only sought treatment for him, but also worked to support the family, and kept the house together. She then stepped into the role of full time single parent when he died from lung cancer. In this role thrust upon her--she never complained--looked back--or faltered. She got up everyday and worked a man's job in a man's world. Not until my younger brother graduated from high school did she leave the hometown we were familiar with, but she never really loved. She kept her hand on the plow and nose to the grindstone. She stayed the course--hung in there--did the job---and all three of us graduated from college and had successful professional careers.
Good Manners - We were taught and she displayed good manners always. These good manners were exhibited to all--without distinction to class, age, or race. There was never an excuse for poor manners and she did not tolerate ill-mannered children. She could pinch a plug out of you with the best of them! With these good manners, came a concern and awareness of the place others found themselves in life. We grew empathetic and sympathetic toward the pain and sorrow of others.
Obsessive Need For Cleanliness and Order---My mother was a clean freak about herself and all her surroundings. We literally mopped the pattern off the linoleum tiles in our house. One of my vivid childhood memories is her licking her finger and wiping some dirt culprit off my face. We shined our shoes every night--until the leather became soft and supple from all the brushing and polishing. Everything had a place and everything was always in its place. There was never any clutter or dis-order and Heaven Forbid---dirt!
Love For Her Family---In her own way, Momma loved us all and there was never any doubt about it. We all show love in different ways. I remember laughing with a friend whose mother showed love through her cooking. The mantra was "Eat a pie" when you walked into her house. Momma's love was most evident in her hard work to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads.
Her legacy is more than this, but the point is she left a legacy that lives on in each of us. Some of the legacy we have passed on to our children--but not all. Each of the three siblings are leaving a different legacy to our own children---but the point is --we all will leave a legacy. Perhaps my legacy will be dillo hunting--loudly laughing--quickly quipping--mountain climbing--adventure seeking--friend loving--pen packing--but something tells me from the snide comments at times from my off-spring--they will do a lot of laughing about their momma too and say I was QUITE THE CHARACTER!
As I read in The Word today, I came across this passage-
I have been reminded of your sincere faith,
which first lived in your grandmother, Lois,
and in your mother, Eunice,
and I am persuaded now lives in you also.
2 Timothy 2:5
What a beautiful and important legacy to leave to our children and grandchildren---faith. If I could leave only one lasting thing to those I love---it would be my love of God and knowledge of what Jesus did for us. The sure and certain knowledge--Jesus is Enough. Now THAT is truly a legacy!