Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pass On Your Heritage

"You pert near gave me a heart attack!" Granny grinned ear to ear at the sight of her two daughters and granddaughter entering her nursing home room.

What a blessing to be with my mother and grandmother on Mother's Day. A first for us. Three generations together on the day of the year to appreciate mothers. Normally I didn't get to come home on Mother's Day because I was busy doing church functions at my own church or speaking for banquets and teas hosted by other churches. This year I planned a break from the goings-on and flew from Kentucky to my old Paris, TX home, where Mom now dwells. Granny resides in a nursing home in Marlow, OK, so the three of us made a trip up to surprise her on this special day.

I couldn't help but reflect on how important my family tree is to me. They helped make me who I am today. Granny influenced Mom, and Mom influenced me during my most developmental years. I found out the reason I do some things a certain way is not just because that is the way Mom did it, but also because she copied her Mama from what she had picked up. For example, cornbread was always to be baked in a heated, greased cast iron skillet.

Especially on Mother's Day, my childless state stares me in the face. I realize all those gems I picked up along the way cannot be passed down to my own children. But they can still be passed down to the next generation. Being childless doesn't diminish my opportunity to mold and shape a segment of humankind.

I realize, after seeing the joy of the 3 generations together, how important it is to express your love and support for others. There's just something about a Granny who says, "I love you" in a sing songy way, and then always follows it up with, "and I'm proud of you."

I want to live my life so she will have a reason to be proud of me, but mostly so that my Lord will be pleased with my actions. What does He want me to pass on to the next generation? It won't be my belongings, because I certainly don't have much. But I can pass on the integrity and character traits He has instilled in me. And as I look back, many of those traits were passed on to me from multiple generations.

What can you pass on?

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