[Originally published at Tilted Pineapple]- written by an ESTN Volunteer My Spring Break was spent learning to grieve the death of my grandmother. She was 96, and while the actual moment was unexpected, I’ve been aware this was coming. Even so, it’s tough to deal with. I’ve reached the “it makes you think” stage. Or, maybe that’s just the way I deal with a lot of things.
Several months ago, I was in the midst of an interview process and was asked the question, “What do you want your legacy to be?” While I’ve thought a lot about what I want my son to learn as he grows up, I really had not thought much about what it means to leave a legacy. I’m pretty sure, “I’ve never thought about that!” wasn’t the answer they were looking for though. While I came up with something that I don’t think is completely wrong, death has a way of forcing you to re-evaluate questions like that.
My son has an amazingly wonderful teacher and one of the things she has her kids do in class is answer prompts in a writer’s notebook. I find it kind of amusing that we’re doing the same type of exercise, he and I (see my 642 Things posts for my occasional writer’s prompt exercises). But, that’s off topic. He brought his notebook home over Spring Break. I read through the whole thing, looked at all of his illustrations and marveled at the way he responds to his world.
Sometime late last Fall, the prompt was, “The best thing about my family is…” and his response (shorter than most other pages) was, “they are trying to end slavery.”
I had been looking for an ongoing opportunity to include him in a volunteer effort and we had begun distributing door hangers for an organization I work with, End Slavery Tennessee. He drew a picture of the door hangers to illustrate. He could have chosen a thousand other ways to answer that question. And maybe some other answers would have pleased me more…but not many.
If I leave him with a legacy of the importance of caring deeply for hurting people, of fighting injustices and acting out God’s love in a practical way, I will not be unhappy with that.
There are days when we all look at our parenting and see nothing but our own faults and failures. May those failures I see be overshadowed by God’s grace, poured out into the heart of a young boy learning what it means to serve others one small step at a time.
I’ll miss you Nanny, thank you for everything you did for me. If I live as long a life as you did, may I see a worthy legacy left. While I have more thinking to do about what that means for me, that notebook page was a glimpse of hope.