Over the last few months I have been engrossed in looking at my family lineage. I have never gone as far with it as I have recently. Oh, the amazing things I have discovered! I’m not going to bore you with my family background and details but what I want to do is spark your interest about “legacy”.
As it is with our own past, the idea is not to live in the places we discover or uncover, but to learn from them. One thing I really took to heart were the ways my ancestors pressed through the difficult issues that presented themselves in the days they were here. They were overcomers. Some died, and some had to be left behind to deal with the grief. I am all to familiar with that part. Drawing from that strength gave me more courage instead of sadness. I suppose it depends on how I would choose to look at things; from the negative or positive. I always try to pull from what is positive and bring that forward. It’s a challenge in this day and age let alone how it was in the past.
I learned that I am stronger than I thought I was. As I reviewed family struggles and the dynamics of the time they lived, I realized the importance of legacy. Genetically speaking I can see some of the traits and tendencies that many family members struggle with. Legacy is different. It is bringing forth the best parts of our ancestry and deciding to expand on the foundations built by our family lineages. Then we take those things and pass them down to those who will still be here after we are not.
I had to truly contemplate what legacy I want to leave my children and grandchildren. I definitely want to leave them strength for the journey but also a sense of being proud of where they come from and who I have been on this earth. I want my children, grandchildren and onward to know my passions, what has had meaning for me, and what my contribution has been to this time span in life.
Traditions go along with these things. Sometimes we think we have no traditions but that is not true. We have had them but often we forget them or become lazy with them. Maybe it is time to spark them up again? One thing I always do with my children is to write to them and sign it, “I love you to heaven and back”. This came from when I used to tuck them into bed at night when they were smaller. I would always tell them that and then I began to ask them, “How much do I love you?” They would have to answer, “To heaven and back.” It might seem trivial but I know long after I am no longer here, they will hold that statement in heaven that lives in their hearts. When they think of me, they will always remember I am loving them from there. It portrays a love that lasts forever.
There are other things as well. I am still working on creating them. My main point is that legacy is important. It is our memory we leave behind for others to cherish as they live their lives. I know I want mine to be a good one. I bet you want that as well! What legacies are you planning to leave behind that are much more valuable than material things?
Loving you from here,
Dr Rev Jenine Marie Howry