I have a question for you. What is the most significant legacy of your family?

With so many demands on family life these days, ‘family’ no longer means the same as it did 100 years ago.  What is your family legacy?

Mention family and it immediately can raise nitiate various reactions in people.  For some, it brings back memories of hurt, shouting, anger.  For others, it conjours up memories of fun times, playing with siblings and parents, and of mealtimes around the table.

The typical family of Dad, Mum and 2.4 children is no longer the norm.  Divorce rates are higher than they have ever been, and ‘second’ families are more and more common. Yet, whatever family set up you come from, your family will have cast a legacy.

Definition of legacy:

  • Noun – an amount of money left to someone in a will.
  • Synonyms – heritage, bequest, inheritance, patrimony
  • something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past legacy of the ancient philosophers  (www.merriam-webster.com)

I have been fortunate.  Both sets of grandparents remained married for over 40 years together, until death.  It was, literally, ’till death do us part.’  My parents were the same.   In March this year, I celebrated 27 years of marriage to my husband Steve.  We are no longer the norm!!!  I am hoping that this legacy of healthy and long marriages continues.

For others, your family generations may not have passed down a legacy that you are proud of.  You may be a child of alcoholic parents and grandparents, and your family legacy could be far from positive.   But look more closely.  In the middle of all this, there could be a something, hidden, that you can proudly call your family legacy.

So, using the definition above, or your interpretation, I ask you again:

What is the most significant legacy of your family?

And if you could, would there be anything that you would change? 

If so, how would you go about changing it to create a new family legacy?

Challenging question perhaps, but I’m looking forward to hearing your responses. Comment below, and I promise to read and answer every comment that you make.

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About katehobbs

Mother to two who are now independant and living away from home. Wife to Steve, for the last 26yrs and looking forward to many more years. I have enjoyed 18 months in the Okanagan, something that I have longed to have the opportunity to do for a while. Living a dream, you could say. Now, I am interning with Living Waters Canada based in Vancouver until end of April 2013. I love to grow my own food - it tastes so much better. I also build up, train and encourage others to achieve more than they thought possible.
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13 Responses to I have a question for you. What is the most significant legacy of your family?

  1. Hi Kate,

    I am writing a blog about my life, and reading it at the beginning without knowing the end would give my readers the idea that the most significant legacy in my family is one of suicide, hurt, anger, regret, serious emotional illness, alcoholism, and so on. But right now let me state that the story changes! Now, on the other side of all that the most significant legacy of my life is when I came to a relationship with the Lord. He changed our family legacy going forward, and generations of our family are now living a life of love and healthy relationships. My blog is called “Light at the End,” and that is why. I reached my grandmother, my aunt, and my own mother with this change before they died, and I had a dream where I saw them in heaven with my great-grandmother, all singing a song together. So, you may say, generations past and future have changed. Thanks for asking!

    • katehobbs says:

      Hi Linda
      There are so many families that have unhealthy histories. Yet, it doesn’t have to remain that way, just as you have said. It only takes one person to change; to change a family’s legacy going forward. Just one person to draw a line in the sand and say “Enough”, “No more”.
      Thank you for your comment. I believe it gives hope to everyone that things DO NOT have to remain the way they seem.
      Kate.

  2. i am the only one in my family who has a healthy marriage, my sister is divorced and you know about my parents.

    • katehobbs says:

      If you asked the question of your parents it would be interesting what their reply would be. Just a thought. The legacy you have received is probably very different from that which your parents imagine they are handing down. It’s hard when you have received bad parenting.

      • it would be interesting, i know they think they brought us up well which is weird when all they see is negative about everything and us…

  3. I, like you, had 2 sets of grandparents who stayed married and followed Christ. Same with my parents. Our desire for our kids is to leave a legacy of faith and faithfulness to loved ones. Right now I have a prodigal, and that sorrow has changed so much. You can’t help but wonder if you could have done something different. But he and his wife are making dark choices. So I pray on. What I hope is my legacy is that all my kids and their wives and their kids would love God. I am not giving up hope.

  4. This is a great question but one which I think not many people give thought to. My grandparents didn’t leave much of legacy in terms of love, warmth and a close knit family. But I have seen my parents work hard at providing my brother and I with the stability and love they never had. And for that I’m thankful – it must have been difficult to pass on a legacy they’ve never experienced.

    • katehobbs says:

      I think that today, in the western world, we are so caught up with gratifying ourselves, that we give no thought to the future,either for ourselves, or for others in our family. we loose sight of to how our actions,and how we live our lives, is being viewed by others. That’s dangerous.

  5. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    I love the closing quote, Kate, & it’s a great post. Alas, alas, our family’s legacy is mental illness! However I for one am changing that into love.

    Very thought provoking…

    • katehobbs says:

      I appreciate that you took the time to comment here. Legacy is a hard thing to get a handle on and that is one reason why I posed the question.

      I am not a doctor but I wonder if mental illness passed from generation to generation can be stopped with love? I do hope so. My husband’s family has a pattern, yet he has made every effort to love others, to be around positive people, and to have a support/accountability mechanism with a group of men that allows him to express issues in a healthy way. These other men are able to remind him to take time and be kind to himself, to help him recognise when stuff is triggering in him that might lead him to go down a path that he doesn’t want to. There are many ways of dealing with the ‘legacy’ of mental illness and this is his way. It’s a very loving way. So far, he is OK.

      Thanks again for your visit. Hope to see you again here soon.
      Kate

      • WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

        Kate, I really applaud your husband for having found such a group. That is just terrific. I am glad even that such a group exists.

        I haven’t meant to say mental illness can be stopped by love – sorry, must be the brevity of my sentence! I meant really to say that while a legacy of mental illness may uncontrollably passed down, my legacy will be remembered as love, not mental illness.

        You sound wonderful for your husband, and I am truly heartened your husband has found such a place. 🙂 N.

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