Something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.
Today is Memorial Day in the United States and is also the same day my grandmother, also known as Bita (shortened for Abuelita in Spanish) passed away four years ago.
In waking up this morning and remembering the men and women who have chosen to sacrifice their lives, time, separation from their families so that we may live in safety and knowing it is the day my Grandma had passed away I have been thinking a lot about Legacy.
What does it mean? Have I left a good one so far or will I continue to build a better one and fill the shoes my Grandmother left behind?
This is my Grandma Katherine Myers Bassett holding my little brother Donald the day he was born, March 5th, 1990. Always so tender and attentive to who she was spending time with in the present.
Bita was so genuine when she would meet new people, ask you questions about your life, she would write names, birthdays, addresses and phone numbers down for everybody and had a systematic spot for each little note card with the information on it.
She loved her husband, her children and each of us grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She never stopped cooking or cleaning or making sure everyone had enough to eat of their favorite food or her homemade lemonade – that was usually tart but always so good.
Grandma as a teenager in Mexico
I remember as a child getting to go to their house after school or daycare and she would let me eat as many pickles, cookies and ice cream or her homemade chocolate chip cookies before dinner and/or instead of dinner when my parents weren’t around to enforce me needing to eat ‘real’ food.
For our birthdays she would create a treasure hunt (sometimes with the help of Grandpa/Bito) that would get the whole family involved walking around the house and their yard with usually the amount of clues for whatever age one of us was turning and at the end of the hunt was always an envelope with money to match that same age (ex. if I was turning 9 I would get $9).
I loved that she loved us each wholeheartedly and permeated a spirit that made you feel so special, comfortable and accepted no matter where you had come from, what life choices you had made there were always welcome arms at their house.
What legacy will I have?
Will I be someone that gives of myself, my time, my attention, will I give my energy to engage in genuine conversations with individuals of all types and backgrounds? Will I remember their names? Will I remember birthdays, anniversaries and moments that mean so much to them?
What is your legacy?
Do you TAKE and engulf everything out of the people around you? Do you ask questions because you are noisy, an information seeker for your next line of gossip? Are you one of integrity and honesty? Love and respect? Am I?
Do you look at life wondering how you can make others feel special and cared for or look at life wondering what they will do for you? What they will GIVE you if you continue to befriend them? How much time do we have to create or change our legacy and what others perceive us as?
I will never forget taking this picture of Bita… it was one of the last times I got to see her and I remember how she wanted me to bring her a brush and hand held mirror to make sure she looked okay. Which was such a precious moment to witness as she had been apologizing for not making any sense or the fact that her thinking wasn’t very clear but in all reality everything that she said came out perfectly with great love and care which is the very thing she always was and I hope to be remembered as some day.
High School or College Portrait
Thank you Grandma for being you and always accepting us as OURSELVES.
<3 For leaving a legacy that I will never forget and hope I can pass on. For always sharing great wisdom and speaking truth.