A Legacy Of Love

In Motherhood, Parenting by Jen

Sometimes as a blogger there are stories you don’t intend to share when you sit down to write, but try as you might one story or theme can take precedence in a post, almost unintentionally.  This is one of those posts. I sat down to write about my experience as a sandwich generation and share some tips for caring for elderly parents and children all at the same time. That post was just not happening, but as I began to write what was in my heart a story quickly emerged. Perhaps I am writing this post for an audience of one, myself and that is perfectly fine.

The story in my heart begins 9 years ago after I had given birth to our son Caleb, my husband who has always been very intuitive, came home from work one day and said he felt like we needed to move back to where my parents and many of our family members lived. At this time we were living in Montana about as far north as you can get in the States away from where he proposed we moved to. Although I missed living close to my family over the years I had grown used to a life lived separately from all of them.

After Jensguy’s declaration of intent there was much prayer and discussion that took place. We had no job in the works with this move, but both of us felt that moving was the right thing to do. So we made a plan, packed up our newborn and toddler and moved. Our leap of faith taken almost a decade ago has been rewarded several times over and although it has been difficult I see such value in the service and good that has come from our years back in the city I grew up in. We may not stay here forever, but for now it has been the right thing.

About a year after we moved here my grandmother passed away one week prior to her 100th birthday. She was an amazing real life pioneer woman who rode a buggy to school everyday, survived the depression and also sent her husband and son off to fight in World Wars.  I look like her and have her strength and tenacity.  I feel like we are kindred spirits just years apart. After she died I had a dream about her, we were sitting on the shore of a beautiful lake and holding our fishing poles. We weren’t talking, but it was so peaceful I knew it was her way of telling me she was fine and that someday we would fish together again.

Eula Gale Elledge

Just a few years later my sweet Abuelita (grandmother) also passed. She too was an amazing woman. Mexican born and raised, but she came here to America and created an incredible legacy for her descendants. She could sing like an angel and could whoop and holler while doing it with such finesse. Her life was hard, but her soul was kind. Never did she look at another person in need and turn her back. My cousin and I were once talking and she shared with me a dream she had where she and Abuelita were just cruising together so comfortably in a car down a beautiful stretch of highway. My cousin’s feet were on the dashboard and the wind was blowing through both of their hair. My cousin said she felt so close to Abuelita and she knew that this was a special message from grandma letting her know she was at peace. I believe her.

Maria Chavez Valencia

I miss both of these incredible women, but their legacy as well as the sacrifices they made for each of their families are remembered and cherished still today.

My husband’s mother also passed in the first years after our move. As you have gotten to know him here through the blog you can see what a great man he is due in large part to lessons learned by a great mother. He has shared stories before about his kind, intelligent and caring mother who’s heart cared so deeply and gave so much right up until the moment it finally stopped working.

Merlene Jensen

Then three years ago my Father passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack. He was an amazing man, who’s quiet and gentle strength was an inspiration to so very many people.

My daughter Samantha had been taking a sculpting class before he died and made him a statue. She was never able to give it to him, but I love how he is holding each child. We hadn’t yet had our little Anneliese, but Samantha who is also very intuitive had added an extra baby.

I don’t share all of this with you as a travelogue meant to make you feel sorry for me or my family, because we certainly don’t feel sorry for ourselves. I KNOW that the legacy of our loved ones still lives on today.

Am I deluded or crazy? Just how exactly do I know this you may ask? Let me tell you.

I see my husband’s mother in my son’s twinkling eyes that look just like her. I see my grandmother in the strength my oldest daughter exhibits as she seeks to find her way in life. I see the fiery determination in my young toddler that I know would make her grandmothers very proud. I watch my son develop an avid zeal for learning and I am reminded of family dinners where my Father would regal and entertain us all with incredible stories and facts.  Everyday I am reminded in a very real way that although lost for a time, those I loved are still very much alive in the memories and actions of those left behind. Truly, with such a wonderful circle of love surrounding me how can my family feel anything but blessed for having loved all of these great people!

This week my 6 year old Rebekah came downstairs shortly after I had put her to bed. She said that she had been worrying about things, she has a very big heart just like her grandma. She told me that as she was laying there and worrying she felt like a warm blanket wrapped around her and hugged her. She told me she just knew it was grandpa. I hugged her and relished in her sweet and pure innocence for a moment and took her back to bed.

The next night my son was showering and started yelling that we all had to run into the bathroom RIGHT AWAY! I ran thinking that I was going to find a calamity of epic proportions. When I walked into the bathroom he pointed at the mirror where a smiley face had been drawn into the window and was visible due to the steam. My little Rebekah started jumping up and down and shouting, ” See I told you grandpa was here with us!”

Stay Happy! Stay Informed!