My maternal grandmother is my earliest recollection of the impact of combining words and photos.
I was so blessed by her “pen pal” style letters that periodically landed in my college mailbox.
They always included a couple of photos from our last visit, or the latest treasures that bloomed in her garden.
Whenever I saw my name written in her handwriting, waiting to be discovered in my mailbox, my heart would flutter with excitement.
My Mama Dede was such a fun loving role model in my life.
She had a laugh that would make anyone smile or join in- whether you were in on the joke, or not.
Reminiscing brings it all back again… so much love. I am so blessed.
Partners in Crime
Not only a master gardener, Mama Dede (known as Edith to her peers) was president of her gardening club in the town of Elizabeth City, NC.
She would design, organize, decorate and make the town bloom with her magical green thumb and magnetic people skills.
I believe her infectious loving spirit made people and places prosper; She was a nurturer, protector, uplifter.
There have been many times when my children would say or do something that triggered her laughter in my memory.
My amazing grandfather (“Pa Chuck” to me) was always seen reading, learning, solving puzzles, creating treasured gifts in his garage.
Pa Chuck was no stranger to composting, weeding, fostering healthy gardens and picking fresh figs off their tree for snacking.
My grandfather was a chemical engineer, a veteran, and graduated from NC State University. He loved inventing things.
He constructed a custom trailer that he hitched to the back of his bike, to easily pedal the cans of cut grass and garden clippings to the curb for town collections.
An original up-cycler, Pa Chuck would claim old pipes from a junk yard and cut, polish and hang them, creating musical treasures for his wife and daughters.
My grandparents were so clever, generous and kind… and always making life more beautiful than they found it.
I really didn’t know how much these stories meant until now; Life experiences (and some years) have given me perspective.
They’ve never met; But you’d never know it
Not many breast cancer patients could make me laugh to the point of flowing tears over the adventures of synthetic wigs that melted while roasting a thanksgiving turkey- But Mama Dede did (and still does)!
Finding joy in times that one would assume were awful… is like finding a rare jewel among clutter; That’s part of their legacy.
Mama Dede and Pa Chuck have given me the gift of childhood love, safety, and a legacy of stories that inspire me still today.
My kids tell some of these stories as if they were there to experience them. Reminiscing made my childhood stories real in my kids hearts.
I believe my grandparents have been holding and loving our children since conception.
These memories awaken my inner creativity, remind me of my worthiness and I am filled with the childlike joy I lost sight of through the years.
My heart is so full of love that carries on through the practice of reminiscence.
What about YOU?
What’s in your legacy of love & who will treasure your passing it along?
Maybe your legacy includes skills like gardening, complex chemical equations, or wisdom to simply finding the joy in the face of adversity.
Maybe your legacy is the ability to make someone feel so loved when they are actually very secluded like I once was as a young college student – before the internet & cell phones.
Your gifts and stories are special and unique to you.
I hope you can honor yourself enough to take a look, and preserve captured moments that will inspire an even more wonderful new story!
Preserving legacies IS my legacy.
Photos hold pieces of our legacy, but it’s up to us to reminisce & share them.
Can you find the important ones; The ones that point to life-giving truths and stories for today?
If your legacy is buried in aging photos, boxes and stress, you deserve to rediscover them and relive your hidden blessings!
Is today the day when you take that step to uncover, enjoy and share them again?
If now IS YOUR TIME… Let’s talk. Grab a spot on my calendar.
It’s my pleasure to deliver them back to you.
Whatever you decide, thank you for being here.