The Legacy Series continues this week with a post from one of my favorite people in the whole wide world, Relyn Lawson. If you don't know Relyn (pronounced ruh-Lynn), you'll love getting to know her at Come Sit By My Fire, where she shares family stories, tales about teaching, her beautiful photographs, her passion for lists (which inspires me more than I can say), her LOVE of good books, and so much more. In her honor, I thought about creating a list of all the reasons why I adore her, but the list began to grow longer than her post itself! Even though Relyn and I have never met in person, I feel like I already know her, not to mention her wonderful husband Jeffrey and her magical daughter Sloane, who just turned nine yesterday. I sometimes find myself wishing that I'd had a teacher like Relyn when I was growing up, but then I stop, pinch myself, and realize I am blessed to have a friend and teacher like her right now.
A long line of love
When Gigi invited me to participate in her Legacy series, I was just delighted. Excited, too. As the series went on, I began to feel more and more humble. What amazing company to be in. Thank you, dear Gigi, for including me among such a luminous gathering of women.
If you were to look around my home for a tangible legacy, you wouldn’t find much. Oh, I have my Grandpa Chrisner’s old turkey roaster and a red Prince Albert tobacco can. I have my Mamaw’s carnival glass serving plate and her collection of now-vintage hankies. I have copies of my mother-in-law’s recipes with a promise of her recipe tin some day. I have a quilt my mother made for me when I was a little, little girl. From my aunt, I have a picture I adore of my parents when they were engaged.
I don’t have antique quilts or sterling silver passed down through generations. I don’t have boxes of old photos and yellowing letters. It seems that my family is not of the magpie variety. Most of the old and faded in my home comes from the local flea market or used bookstore.
But, if you were to look closer, to look at me instead of my home… ah. That’s a different story.
I have my Grandpa’s love of story. I have the same devilish twinkle he and my father sometimes get; a twinkle that really should serve as a warning. I have my Mamaw’s sense of humor and love of laughter. I have my mother’s love of beauty and home. I have my mother-in-law’s greatest success – her son. I have the passionate spirit that my parents always cherished. I have a deep and abiding love for education that my father modeled with each degree he earned.
I’ve been thinking, of course, about the legacy I will leave for my own daughter. Will she learn to love learning as I did? Will she know, bone deep, that a beautiful, peaceful home is a haven for your family? Will she laugh at every opportunity? Oh, I hope so.
But there is something else, something far more important that I hope to leave with Sloane. I want her to know how to have a good marriage. I believe it is the greatest gift this life offers. My parents, and Jeffrey’s, have shown us just how good life can be. Together, our parents share 93 years of marriage. It makes me think of that old country song, I come from a long line of love. Yes, a long line of love.
Of course, our parents were given this legacy as their own, too. My Dad’s mother was paralyzed and completely bed-ridden from her early thirties till the end of her life. At her funeral over 30 years later, my elderly grandfather stood at the head of her coffin the entire service. When asked if he would please sit down he said, “Son, I stood by your mother for more than 30 years. I’ll see it through.”
I’ll see it through.
Yes. I come from a long line of love.