PICKLES & COOKIES
Secret ingredients to leaving a legacy
The idea of a legacy admittedly is never far from my mind. It’s not that I want to be great, it’s that I want to be remembered for doing great things. The concept of leaving a legacy is probably on our thoughts more often than we care to admit, but cannot be ignored at the death of a loved one.
I had the privilege of knowing my Great-Grandmother Carrie, who passed away this week. She was 95, and lived a full life with a marriage to my Great-Grandpa for 66 years. Anytime you come face to face with the life of someone you love, you can’t help but ask the question, “What kind of legacy have they left me?”.
My great-grandma was a fierce bundle of determination and joy. The moment we would walk into the door, she would come alive into a whirlwind of wet kisses, homemade cookies, pickles, jams and questions. Normally parents try to keep you from eating too much sugar, I think my grandma saw herself as a cookie evangelist. She would put a plate full of cookies in front of me and almost dare me to eat as many as possible. She would always talk about her tomatoes that she proudly grew, or her homemade pickles (which were legendary in our family) and usually send us off with a few jars of jam and pickles. When she was in her 80s she said that she wanted a mustang convertible so she could drive with the top down and let her hair blow.
What I am constantly reminded of when I think of Grandma Carrie’s cookies and pickles, is they represent who she was. The legacy she left, was not about what she did for me. It was not about the cookies or pickles, it was about who she was. They represent her love for me in her own way. Her life, who she was, the commitment to family, to her marriage, to her faith, and the fierce way in which she would love us with cookies and pickles, is the legacy she has left me. One that keeps the memories of her clear and alive as the day I last saw her. When we find ourselves wondering along the path of what kind of legacy we will leave, remember, that legacy will be built off who you were, not what you did.