What will be your legacy?

August observances include “What will be your legacy?”. According to Dictionary.com a legacy legally is a “gift of property, especially personal property, as money, by will; a bequest.”. And It may also be “anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor.” I tend to focus more on the “anything handed down” definition.

There are positive and negative sides to legacy. We can carry the good and bad with us.  Both the positive and negative are powerful aspects as a daughter and as a mom when I consider my legacy.

One legacy in both of these roles is music. My mom sang with me and played piano. She was my first piano teacher. Mom was my reminder to practice. I adored playing piano duets with her as a young teen. My daughter has grown up surrounded by music from both parents. She has had me teach her a few chords on the guitar. There are many songs we have sung together over the years.

Given this legacy of music, let me start with the song that immediately comes to my mind in both these legacy roles.

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As a daughter, I know there are many legacies I carry from my mother:

  • her looks,
  • a strong interest in music,
  • a desire to help others,
  • a creative nature,
  • a short temper,
  • a tendency to waken quickly to sounds,
  • issues with my thyroid,
  • a get ‘er done attitude
  • an ability to create a meal from odd “leftovers” and items,
  • an interests in natural foods.

According to my daughter, I am leaving a legacy of:

  • music
  • caring for others 
  • selflessness

She found this a difficult question to answer so I appreciate what she did share.

How does the concept of legacy inform the choices you make in your life? Have you considered making a musical family history? Please share your responses in the comments below.

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  1. Nice pictures, JoAnn! I think the term “legacy” has been somewhat cheapened by organizations that are trying to get folks to leave “legacy gifts” of money when they die. It’s so important to remember that we leave behind so much more than our money, and that’s really what matters most to the people we love.
    Rachelle Norman recently posted..Song Spotlight: “Stand By Your Man”My Profile

  2. That photo of you and your daughter is so beautiful and heartfelt :).

    If my family knew I was commenting on a post about musical families, they’d about die! As a kid I wanted to be a singer so bad. There was only one problem: I can’t sing to save a life :(.

    Music informs my moods every single day. When I think of legacy I think of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Mariah Carey. One of my fav things to do is listen to them acapella–the true soul comes through and there’s no need for background music.

    My legacy to my son will have to be determined by a non-musical note. I just want him to look back and have happy and fulfilled childhood memories.
    Linda Esposito recently posted..Mindful Monday: Body Image, British Manners + Free Relaxation mp3My Profile

    • Memories of a happy, fulfilled childhood are a wonderful legacy to have with a child. For me, it isn’t necessarily about leaving a music legacy, it is sharing what is important to you with others.

  3. What a wonderful question to ask and I love your personal mother-daughter example.
    Thanks, Allison
    Allison Andrews, PsyD recently posted..The Ins and Outs of Parenting Children with Special Needs — Part 2My Profile

    • It is a wonderful question and a tough question at the same time. It is my hope that by sharing my answer (and that of my daughter) others will see it as a less daunting question.

  4. JoAnn,

    Since we have lost a lot of older family members in the past few years, this is an issue that I think about frequently. It is especially poignant for me because my children were adopted. We don’t have the physical legacies to share, so we focus extra hard in our family on building strong connections and good memories. Thank you for sharing a bit of you and your family in this post.

    Ann Becker-Schutte recently posted..Self-Care 101: Be Patient with ChangeMy Profile

    • Sharing our connections and creating good memories is powerful. For me, the memories are what help me deal with the loss. Wishing you and your family all the best as you move forward with the memories you’ve created to hold you.

  5. You may want to listen to this song. “What will my Legacy be” By Minister Johnson.

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