Leaving a Legacy

Sometimes you wonder how and if you are making a difference. We can’t help but contemplate the impact we make on those around us. We ponder what the world will think of us when we are gone…..will our memory fade quickly or will a legacy be left? Not everyone leaves an impact. Of those that do, not every impact is of a positive nature. My Nannie, however, left many ripples in the river of life. Ripples that are positive and long lasting.

On January 5th of this year, Nannie celebrated her 89th birthday. How wonderful! Sadly, Nannie’s health soon began to decline severely. She was in and out of the hospital a few times, only to begin what appeared to be a long-term stay. Her memory and ability to communicate were quickly slipping as well. After the doctors told the family that there was not much they could do, the unanimous decision was to bring her home. That was what she wanted as well.

Nannie came home last Monday and the hospice nurse told the family on Tuesday of that week that she has less than 72 hours. Her feet showed indications that her heart was not pumpingĀ  blood as it should. Early on Wednesday morning, with her children by her side, Nannie breathed her last breaths. Although I was not there, my mother said it was peaceful. She did not suffer, but instead, Nannie passed calmly from this world.

When the news came, it was not a surprise. Although somewhat expected, the loss was not easy. Nannie was simply that: Nannie. She was our family anchor. SHe was our family boss. She was a community leader, even once the mayor of her hometown. She was a constant fixture in her church pew. She was even in charge of buying flowers for those that passed away in her community. She was an ex-postmaster and Avon rep. She was out Nannie and she was loved.

News of her death spread like wildfire. Most everyone locally knew her or knew one of her children–or grandchildren–or great-grandchildren. The funeral home visitation was filled with food, hugs, plants, flowers, memories, and most importantly, people who were impacted by her….folks that knew her legacy.

We find comfort in knowing that she possessed a constant faith in which she too found peace. Belief that we will see her again allows us to find joy in the midst of the loss. We are certain that she will not be forgotten, because of her legacy left. Her 5 living children, her 13 grandchildren, her 15 great-grandchildren, and my cousin’s coming baby (Nannie’s first great-great-grandchild), will be heirs to her legacy, never letting Nannie’s memory fade.