12 January 2011

A Legacy

"The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes."
-Frank Lloyd Wright

At the end of January my grandma will turn 80.  I've been gathering photos from all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins and compiling a photo book as a gift.  Seeing all these photos of her throughout the years has me thinking about the idea of a legacy.  We will all be old someday....what will our legacy be?

Grandma grew up as the eldest of five children and the only girl.  One might think that growing up with brothers would have made her less feminine, but it seemed that this had quite the opposite effect.  When I was a girl, she instilled in me a love for ballet, opera, musicals, sewing, baking, flowers, lipstick--anything that might be considered feminine.  However, she once remarked to me that she was never allowed to wear pants or shorts as a girl--only dresses.  Maybe there was some sort of forced feminism in her.

She married my grandpa in 1950, when she was 19.  They were a beautiful couple.

I love this photo. From left to right: my grandma, great-grandmother, and my great-great grandparents. My great-great grandfather emigrated from Switzerland in the early 1900's.


In August 2000 my grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, four months before grandpa succombed to cancer.  I always thought he held on just for this day.  They were both so happy and so in love, more than I had ever seen.  

Every time I speak with Gram, I think of all the wisdom she has acquired throughout her many years.  She has experienced the loss of a child, her parents, and her husband of 50 years.   In her life, she has witnessed the Great Depression, WWII (there was a Japanese concentration camp near her childhood home), the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, and the terrorist attacks of September 11th. The world she was born into has changed drastically.

In her is an empathy and understanding beyond comprehension. When people are grieving, she grieves with them. When people are happy, she smiles for them. Though not able now, she used to sew baby blankets for women in her church with newborns, take food to families who weren't well, and befriend everyone she met.  

Kindness will be her legacy, and is the trait in her which I most admire.


  1. Your grandma is such a wonderful woman. You made me tear up. Your love for her shows in your words.

  2. What a beautiful tribute to Grandma. She really is a great lady. She truly accepts her granddaughters-in-law as her own granddaughters and makes all her grandkids and great grandkids feel special.


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