Legacy. There are a few definitions offered for this word. For my purposes here, I will go with "anything handed down from the past". I'm not sure when it exactly happened; when I became my parents because I distinctly remember swearing to the high heavens that I would NEVER be like them.
They taught me things. Not just the regular stuff, how to brush my teeth and eat with a fork and knife. I mean the other stuff. How to share a meal and good conversation. How to be tolerant of others - all others. The evils of assuming things. How to look at things from a different perspective. Some things were mom's forte and others were dad's but they taught me a lot. Creativity, patience (OK, so I'm still struggling with that one), how to problem solve, determination; so many things.
My Son said this weekend that he wasn't going to be like us and I had to laugh because it was as if he took me on a time warp to when I had said it. I just told him it was too late he was already like me because I had said that too and I AM my parents. Then I started thinking, I'm not just my parents, I'm the whole troop of people who helped raise me.
So, I'd like to take a moment to thanks some of them here for what I am today; for teaching me to enjoy.
Nanny: late nights and old movies, red velvet cake, visiting with friends, going to the beauty salon to feel better and car trips.
Berto: researching info, Roman and Greek classics, My Fair Lady and Broadway musicals in general, treating everyone the same (even if his example was to treat everyone from Senators to cleaning ladies in his gruff manner- it was the same for everyone- no exception)
Dad: I can do it no matter what, go for what I want- what the heck, determination, problem solving, love of gift giving, how to use the phone to get anything, pride, conversation, table manners, be true to myself, right is sometimes wrong, art of conversation, semantics, extremism
Mom: how to have fun, creativity, how not to cook (haha), how to care for everyone, independence, laughter, dance, music, tolerance, kindness, the little things do count, perspective, traditions, how to let go, empathy, love of reading, crafting, how to live with a champagne appetite on a beer budget
Aida: patriotism (even though she never became a citizen, we studied for the test every summer), mothering,
Mrs. K: curiosity- it won't kill you.
Mrs. W: journaling and writing
Mrs. G: old fashion values, tolerance, there's more than one way to skin a cat
Those are just a few but that will do for now....
As much as we complain about family because of course we do, we become the fabulous people we are because of them. So, sorry to my boys but you are me. Legacy- it's a powerful thing.