Today is a day to celebrate legacies.
As we celebrate those we love today, I’d like to share a legacy of love. Four years ago today, I said goodbye to my grandmother (Maw-Maw) as we laid her to rest. She lived an astonishing life of over 100 years. As her first grandchild, we shared a bond that lasted over fifty years. She was there when I took my first breath, and I was there when she took her last. We still talk every day. I miss her fiercely.
The first Thanksgiving after we lost her, our family gathered together to honor her by preparing her recipes. She was our matriarch, and she owned the kitchen for all family gatherings. We spent the evening cooking, crying, and sharing funny stories of a life well lived.
My job was to bake her famous apple pie. This was the same pie she had made for me for every birthday and holiday my entire life. I was intimidated to say the least, but determined to do it “her way”. She was a very disciplined and serious cook. She had recipes for everything, typed and saved on 3x5 note cards. I followed each step exactly, from the exact number and type of apples to her specific instruction of slicing them in ¼ inch slices.
Once I had meticulously combined all ingredients, I anxiously awaited my final instruction of how long and what temperature to bake this wonderful concoction. Her final instruction simply said to “bake until done”. Are you kidding me? I was dumbfounded at her lack of detail on such an important step.
As each of us read all her recipes, it was the same. Bake until done. At that moment we all realized that her attention to detail ended where her intuition began. She was a great cook. She was a detailed cook, and she is now finding great humor in her family trying to carry on her legacy around the Thanksgiving table.
Money does not define your legacy. Your legacy is simply the footprint you leave behind after you leave this earth.
My grandmother left extra-large footprints, and apparently a wicked sense of humor.