Five generations of women in my life have woven stories for me about the power of courage and curiosity that has helped me feel my worth. Creating these generational stories requires time, self-awareness, and nurturing of our relationships.
Some describe these moments as “quantum moments,” a shift in our awareness of life. A moment when time is suspended, and there is only the experience. Those moments make us pause and absorb what it means to be human. In this moment, I am aware of your body gently stirring in my arms and the warmth of tears on my cheeks. You are stretching and making the funniest, loudest, and most dramatic noises. Your hands finally settle under your chin as if you are pondering life. And then there it is, in a flash, I see my grandmother, Nana Emily. Her hands under her chin, reading, engaging in deep thoughts, or simply belly laughing with her hands settled under her chin and over her upper lip –hiding her scar. Nana is with us. At this moment, I sense the presence of the many women woven and stitched into us. We are part of them, and they are part of us. I hear them whispering words of wisdom about the joy and responsibility of being yo
ur grandma. The love I hold in my heart for you is connected to the love of grandmas before me, whispering the same to you.
My Promises to You
- I promise to be your whisperer, holding space for you with my whole being to remind you of your value and worth and whispering to you as my grandmother whispered to me words of love, justice, and service to others as the key to a purposeful life.
- I promise you will always be part of grandma’s to-do- list. I will be in the front row cheering for you, in the quiet places listening to you and always just a phone call away for a shopping trip.
- I promise to keep working to lift obstacles and lay down an easier path for you in this life. A path that makes the journey open to all that is uniquely you. A path that is fair and equitable and that invites you to shine. A path that requires you to do the same for others.
- I promise to pause long enough to see the world through your eyes.
- I promise the kitchen table will always be waiting for you to join me for ice cream, coffee, a laugh, a tissue, and shared conversations about this sometimes broken but always beautiful world we live in.
- I promise I won’t try to wrap you in protective bubble wrap—although I will want to protect you from the hate of bullies, broken hearts, failures, and losses. But I promise to wrap you up in my arms and whisper words of hope when life hurts.
- I promise to leave you a legacy filled with courage to confront that which is hard, but right, to see suffering in the invisible places and people, to offer comfort, challenge injustice, and to stand up for yourself and others– to be an Upstander and not a bystander in this life.
My Hopes for You
- I hope you learn and appreciate your connection to the generations of women from your past who have waited for you. They moved obstacles and barriers as they dreamed of your life. They built a path for you.
- I hope you feel those gifts of sacrifice and love as you lay your bricks on the path for the little girls who will follow you. I hope that when you find yourself in the presence of injustice, you choose to stand up and not remain quiet. And when you speak out, I will be smiling with pride. Our shared humanity is all that matters in this life. When you fully embrace this, you will live a joyful life.
- I hope you lead with your curiosity and follow your curiosity. It will allow you to see the beautiful nuances in this life and help keep your bias and hate in check.
- I hope you stay open to seeing and finding your way in this life. Remember, your dreams and your imagination belong to you. Put them in your pocket and keep them safe. Don’t let anybody steal them or tarnish them. Dream big little one!
- I hope you live this life as a believer in magical, wondrous, and unseen things. Use your imagination to dream of what can be and not settle for what is. This will turn the seemingly ordinary experiences into something extraordinary.
- I hope you carry my heart in your heart, and with every act of kindness, generosity, or courageous choice you make, you will hear me whispering to you.
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