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Old 05-02-2017, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Idaho
1,758 posts, read 1,428,170 times
Reputation: 6766

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There have been quite a few threads and discussions in this retirement forum about leaving a legacy.

I thought of the legacy my father left behind today and wrote this email to my daughter, nephews and nieces.

Quote:
Today is grandpa P birthday. He would have been 94 years old.

I still miss him terribly. I remember how much he enjoyed spending time with the grand children.

I wish that he had lived long enough to see his grand children grow up, become hardworking, caring, responsible people with a thirst for knowledge, learning just like him.

I am very proud of my daughter, nephews and nieces. Whether you realize it or not, grandpa P had left a great legacy in you all.

Love
P.S.
I also copied the email to my brothers and sisters and here is a reply from one of them

Quote:
Yes, the artistic skills that seem to have skipped a generation, among others.

Thank you for the reminder. I think he watches over all of us.
I forgot to mention that my father had a sentimental, artistic soul. He was a published poet in his younger days. I cherished the memory of growing up, taking walks while listening to my father's reciting his poems. Yes, the artistic skills seemed to skip a generation in my family because unlike their parents, the grand children are talented artists and musicians.

Last edited by BellaDL; 05-02-2017 at 08:22 AM..
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Old 05-02-2017, 01:31 PM
 
Location: RVA
2,477 posts, read 1,557,887 times
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While you do realize you are lucky to have that legacy, I wonder if you realize HOW lucky you are?

My grandparents and parents while not really mean spirited or greedy, left few moments in my life to remember such a legacy. Only my father remains and he basically says "For once in my life, I'm finally happy. I can finally do what I want". Basically, "I lived for you kids and your mother and now I can live for me." My mother used to wax poetic about how different and personally better for her, her life would have been, if she hadn't become pregnant at 17 and had me, like it was my fault. Not once did my father ever plan to attend or take his children to any of their events or for a family vacation with the intent to share mutual fun times or a legacy.....sadly, he felt he was required to work as often and as much as he could to provide stuff and food. I don't judge...I did not walk his shoes. But really, I was active in sports for all 3 seasons all through high school...plays...events....not once, nor any of my siblings, did they attend. They did attend my high scool and college graduations, and mom had a nice party after high school that I was very appreciative of.

I really don't think it ever even occured to him, that he should want to do those things, vs having to do them because it might be expected of him. I am just stating that it was not in his wheel house to have that kind of emotional attitude. My fondest memories are going to a couple of bowling tournaments with him in the 60's to score on the hot grease pencil overheads commonly used. I was almost a wonderkid on display...8-9-10 years old, flawlessly doing instant bowling addition quickly and with correct shorthand. I was smart enough to know that my math skills were the equal of (or better) than the laborers, carpenters, masons etc that comprised the teams I scored for. They loved to ask and were amused when they would ask me what was the best possible score, or had they already lost or won, and I would do the math in my head and answer quickly. But it was the few times my father seemed proud in public. Later in life, he just expected it. Today, he can't understand why I'm still working. At least my mother did things "with us", as ling as it was what she wanted to do, like playing canasta or spades after dinner with 3 of us, or the occasional 4th of July fireworks and carnivals when we were very young. I only have a stepson, and I did endless lists of things for him, maybe trying to fill the shoes my own father left empty, since his real father made mine look like a saint. Unfortunately his current life is troubled so I wonder how much of a difference it made.

So enjoy those memories and that legacy...they are a precious source of character building blocks and memories. They may be more rare than you realize.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Idaho
1,758 posts, read 1,428,170 times
Reputation: 6766
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryinva View Post
While you do realize you are lucky to have that legacy, I wonder if you realize HOW lucky you are?
....
So enjoy those memories and that legacy...they are a precious source of character building blocks and memories. They may be more rare than you realize.
Yes, I do realize that I am very lucky to have parents who are great role models and devote to their children.

I do not idolize my parents. Just like all human beings, they have their weaknesses and strengths. As I get older and have a child of my own, I became more grateful of all the sacrifices they made for us and more forgiving of their shortcomings.

I read with sadness many stories at cd forum of family estrangement, painful memories of broken families, abusive or cold detached parents. However, I also see many inspiring examples of family devotion. Parents putting the care of their special need children over their retirement security. Children taking care of sick parents. Spouses taking care of each other. The family bonds are still strong and our family is still the most important thing in our life.

My OP's simple message is that a life legacy does not always mean a big inheritance.

For most people, we retire when we have completed many life responsibilities (earning a living, raising a family etc. ). Successful retirement is usually measured in terms of our net worth or financial security. I think we should remember that as parents or grandparents, we should count our offspring as a big part of our legacy.

There are also many kinds of legacy which are not measured in dollar terms. Teachers should be proud of their students. People in health care should be proud of the lives which they had saved, the pains which they had alleviated. The same goes with people in all different professions. We all should be proud of what we had done during our work life. We may be just a cog in a machine, a tiny part but the big society machine can not function without all those parts.
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:27 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
27,536 posts, read 45,702,816 times
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No inheritance from previous generations, so we didn't break that tradition. +/-

Our heirs are the designated donors / managers of the family trust and donor advised fund we established 20+ yrs ago. Just in case we messed up our retirement planning, at least those persons and programs we had supported since we were in HS would be supported in perpetuity. No huge amounts, but should spin-off enough to growth and allow several significant gifts / yr.

Our legacy will be in the responsibility / consideration to keep passing it on and to grow the propensity of those who follow us to educate their own to continue (if they choose to do so).

There is much value in passing on a "family blessing" of sorts, but that would be way out of character for our dysfunctional families. We have groomed and attempted it, but not refined the process and delivery yet.

I think of several GREAT parents who we know strived daily to assert praise and appreciation. Terrific idea, but has not always worked out so well (even with very stable / mature adult kids.... the bottom drops out of relationships.)

Don't miss the opportunity, don't expect all to receive it with open arms.
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,894 posts, read 1,829,306 times
Reputation: 4297
My uncle died a few months ago at the age of 92 - the last of my dad's siblings. His children and grandchildren adored him as did their friends. There were many stories told on Facebook where they remembered how generous he was and all the stories he had told them about being a pilot in WWII and growing up racing hot rods and working on farm equipment and participating in teenage pranks. He told good jokes and had a great sense of humor. Obviously he had a very positive influence on the younger generations in this small midwestern town and was highly respected and will be missed. He lived on a government pension and the money from selling his small home had gone to assisted living for him and my aunt so he left no estate of any size. Unfortunately my family lived 1500 miles away and we were never able to have much of a relationship with my uncle or get to know him. Sort of sad to miss out on so much and I wish I had known him better.

My parents were more similar to Perryinva's family. We were poor and my parents worked hard to raise six kids. Often we were reminded that we were a burden and their lives would have been much easier without so many children - their divorce did not help matters either. They had little time for any of us, my father was very strict and demanding to the point of being a bully, and my older siblings were more like parents to me than my mom and dad. It's hard to believe that my father and uncle came from the same family. There is some resentment on my part but I know they worked long hours and both had very bad experiences in WWII that seemed to break their spirits. My dad died young when I was in my teens. If he had lived, I might be less forgiving.
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:59 PM
 
Location: RVA
2,477 posts, read 1,557,887 times
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Excellent response Belladl. It's not always about the money when discussing a legacy. Thank you for reminding me. Ironically, though we were always very far from rich (I am wealthier than they ever were), we were NEVER deprived of anything important because of lack of funds. Need braces? Done! Emergency loan, college costs, etc. Done! We even had a decent allowance in exchange for chores ( lawn, clean the cars, garage etc, for me). They instilled a good work ethic, that nothing came for free. So I made sure I went to a school where I got a scholarship, aid, and work study to pay as much as I could, plus my student loans. I made sure I lived as cheap as possible in school. But they paid at least half, and they really couldn't afford it in retrospect. On an objective scale they did a lot to provide a solid future in a physical and realistic sense. It was the emotional and family sense they lacked. My brother and I took it better over the years, but my sisters were quite bitter for many years towards them. I think women typically do need more emotional guidance than men while growing up.
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