I have the best family. No, really. For as long as I can remember, the women of our family have held up this family. They are the true matriarchs and lead a legacy that is worth writing about. They have cried with us, laughed with us, supported us, and sacrificed the world for us and we are so lucky to call them ours.
Aunt Joan with her beautiful smile and commanding personality – she was the true epitome of a servant – always making sure everyone had what they needed and that the dishes were done – she was the steady on our crazy – and her legacy lives on. My throat still gets a lump when I think of her passing too soon and I somehow feel robbed that we have to finish this life without her physically here.
Then you have these broads (And I’m sure they would be fine with me saying that, but if not, sorry in advance, you know I love you crazies) – Aunt Lois, Aunt Paulette, and Aunt Julie (my momma).
Dishes need to be done? They are there. Trays of desserts for days? They have you covered. Cut a rug on the dance floor and put your young self to shame? They are groovin’. And the lessons they pass on to us are endless.
My heart and head are so full when I think about the lives they have lead and the lives they continue to touch, so I thought I’d share a few of the life lessons in building a legacy that all of these women have taught me.
1. Give Freely.
Whether it’s the shirt on your back, a listening ear, or the gifts of cooking (that is not something I believe I have inherited, but there’s still time), you have so much to offer this world in the way of generosity. Give of yourself, your heart, and your mind and you will change your family and the world.
2. Be Present.
You may not always be remembered for being there, but people will never forget when you weren’t. When you don’t have money or things or the like, you always have yourself. Be present, live in the moment, and show your devotion and love by showing up.
3. It Takes a Village.
Raising babies is not meant for an island. Whether you clean a house, cook a meal, rock a baby, or throw a party in celebration, raising a family is the whole’s family’s business. Everyone is the mother, everyone is the snuggler, everyone is the disciplinarian. When a baby joins the family, he or she is everyone’s baby and there is no shortage of love to go around.
4. Strong Women Beget Strong Women
Strong, independent, and full of vigor, these women stand on their own two feet and know how to voice their opinion and look graceful while doing so. They never fail to have their voices heard. They are your biggest advocate and your strongest opposition – and you love them all the same because they want whats best for you. They have created a legacy of strong women and it shows. A man is nice to have around, but when in doubt, be prepared (and we usually are) to do it yourself. And also. Strong women support and lift other women up.
5. Have a Blast
Life is worth living and while you have the chance, dance, smile, and try not to take yourself too seriously. When I’m their age, I still want to look half as good and be having as much fun as they are celebrating at a family wedding. They make mothering, living, working, dancing, partying, serving, giving seem like a breeze and look fabulous while doing so.
Beyond thanks to the Matriarchs of our family who have made us the women we are. We can only hope to leave a legacy the way you have.