Saying Goodbye…Looking Ahead

Written by Tammy Redmon on January 9, 2012

Saying Goodbye…

Last month our family lost it’s matriarch. My Grandmother, Beverly June Vance, went home to heaven and to her long-awaited dance with my Grandpa Archie.

While this passing was filled with emotions and left us all feeling a great loss, it was the reality of this signifying an end of an era that shook us most of all. My grandmother was the last of her generation in our family.

Beyond the significance to our family, it is also significant to the community in which she grew up. Everyone has moved away now and all that remains are memories. As wonderful as they are, the reality is that the future generations will not know of the history that left us on July 18, 2010.

I am not one to be saddened by death; in fact, I tend to look at the passing in a way that honors history and life. With this one however, it struck me in a different way than ever before. It made me think of (as it does for most) my own legacy and the design of my life.

It is a gift in my mind to have the rich family history that I have, and it struck me as sad that my own children may not recognize the same for themselves. It begged a question. How do we honor the past as we grow into our future?

Looking Ahead…

We live our lives from day to day, often by accident. It’s not a normal behavior to plan for intentional experiences that create legacy. So much has been created for us, we now are simply going through the motions of keeping all things moving in an effort to keep afloat. But, what if it all ended tomorrow? Who would know of your effort?

When we joined together as a family to honor the life my grandmother lived, we could only think of the past. To honor a woman who lived life with joy and with intention. Today, I can’t help but feel a compelling call to action for my own life and children, to live with intention for the moment. To worry less about staying ‘afloat’ and more about living with joy. To make a difference here and now in the lives of those close to me. Not waiting on ‘someday’ for that perfect timing.

That was my Grandma. She lived with intention and with a constant desire to give to others. To nurture. Whether through her freshly baked cookies or the best ever hot fudge sundaes, she put her heart in all things. Especially when they were for her family.

The only “someday” she lived for was the day she could try a new recipe on the family or sew that matching shirt to her dress for Grandpa.

I know that you may be thinking, in death people think of life. And, while that is in part true for me today, more over I am thinking of intentional legacy. The intentional actions I make today can change many tomorrows. My grandmother’s actions changed my life for the better and gave me perspective on the choices I make today. While I will miss her deeply, I am forever blessed by who she is in me. That part of my heritage that I have a compelling call to honor and take forth into my everyday living.

What does intentional living mean to you?

How might you find yourself waiting for ‘someday’ and yet missing your today?

Might I encourage you to reflect on how you are spending your days and living your life? It shouldn’t take us to reflect in death how we want to be living in life. My grandmother lived fully and was her feisty self right until the end. She modeled the way very well; now it’s my turn.