We just got back from a weekend in California, celebrating my grandma’s 90th birthday. (Does this sound familiar? I’m so lucky to have both amazing women still in my life!) On the way out, a woman on the airport shuttle asked if my grandma was doing well. In reality, some days are better than others. My grandma has developed dementia, so days and moments can look vastly different.
Celebrating her life, surrounded by friends who have known her for decades longer than I’ve been alive, was such an amazing reminder of the legacies we build early in life. Have the last few years been tough, both for my grandma and for those of us watching her age? Yes. They have.
And yet, I think about her sense of adventure and love of travel – qualities instilled in me at a young age that formed my own worldview. I hear about her love of art and encouragement of drawing, which led my dad, my cousin, and my brother to pursue careers in art. I hear about her hospitality and value of community. I think about her value of family and the importance of creating safe spaces for us.
I am so thankful for the woman my grandmother chose to become. Because, she grew up in a family environment where she did have to make a conscious decision to be different from her family. I am thankful for her spirit, for her grit, and for her determination in creating her own family and writing her own story.
Mostly, I’m awed and grateful that Bea has been able to meet and develop relationships with both of my grandmothers – women who have shaped and formed who I am and have taught me so much. Hopefully she’ll know them for a long time as she grows up, but for now I’m glad she has a legacy of strong, thoughtful women as role models.
Who has shaped your journey? Is there a woman who has created a strong legacy for your family?