Legacy

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My husband tells me I am the most stubborn person he knows.

In a good way. (Most of the time.)

He’s wrong though, because the most stubborn person around was my grandmother.

In good ways, mostly, but like everyone else, Nana had sticking points which went unappreciated by those around her from time to time.

What I loved most about her stubborn streak was her steadfast and unwavering position on aging. She simply wasn’t. Wouldn’t. And many ways, even into her nineties, didn’t.

I’m a little embarrassed, frankly, with the trepidation I sometimes experience about growing older. After a few health scares in 2016, and a political season of unrest, I’m aware to the point of anxiety.

I feel afraid.

I’m fearful of the future. Our future.

Is this living?

Nana grew up in the Depression. She raised her children and then pursued a Master’s Degree in her forties. She taught Jr. High School until retiring, and discovered an acting career in local theater in her seventies and eighties. At ninety, she was still living alone and driving.

Nana certainly had her share of hardship and heartache. She witnessed decades of political shift from right to left and back again. She knew what it was to bide her time and wait for the pendulum to reach its pinnacle and return its swing in the opposite direction.

There were times, maybe, when she should’ve held her tongue. Other times, I know she couldn’t, shouldn’t, didn’t.

She was brash and witty. Direct and sarcastic. Intelligent. Confident. And sometimes coy.

She was unafraid to speak and never waited until spoken to.

As I contemplate the week ahead, as I fear the four years ahead, and as I worry about my own aging ahead … my grandmother’s legacy stays nearby. Inspiring me. Reassuring me. Guiding me to speak, to act, to live.

It’s time to contemplate my own legacy.

I will attend our state’s local Women’s March next Saturday in my grandmother’s honor.

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