Grilled Grandma wisdom: Leaving a legacy

Grandmothers strive to be a positive force in their families, make a difference in the lives of their loved ones in the (relatively little) time we have to spend with them here on earth.

Grandmothers also, perhaps even more so, hope to make a difference in the loved ones themselves — their character, personality, person — a legacy that lives on long after Grandma's gone.

I always ask Grilled Grandmas What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? Following are some of their answers.

grandma legacy 

Respect for all things, creatures and people, a love of learning, and a sense of adventure. Gail

I want most to teach them that life is change; that change is not bad (just different); and that the earlier one learns to embrace change, the earlier one will be at peace with life. I also would like them to know that they are lovable just the way they are. That’s why I used to enjoy Mister Rogers, when their dad and aunt were growing up. He used to tell the children that every day. Nita

To be honest in all their dealings. That they are wonderful people who can make a positive difference in this world and not to settle for mediocrity. Strive for the best in everything and always do their best. Marlene

That they are capable of doing anything they put their minds to. They just may have to realize that a bit of extra effort is required for some other things they may wish for. Life is too short to sit around wishing for something and expecting it to just drop in your lap. If you want it, go out and figure out how you are going to get it. Also, to never get too caught up in things that you lose site of the little things that can make you smile. Janie

Family matters! Appreciate the generations. That they know I love them more than anything. Patty

Memories. She loves hearing stories about when I was young, or her mom was young, or when she was young — especially stories about mommy. I like telling her about the people she will never get to meet, like my dad and my grandparents. Kc

One of my grandchildren once told me I was a world traveler. I did not think they had even noticed. Since then I have come to realize that they know we are travelers, well educated, and always with them no matter what. I want to pass that sense of family accomplishments along to them. Discussions at our table when they visit include the children, and we can talk about a variety of subjects with ease. Hopefully, they will take those experiences with them into a family of their own. Barbara

My grands are biracial, bicultural children, so it’s important to me to help grow their minds and their hearts to accept people as they are. I tell the stories of their Irish/Scottish roots and give them opportunity to travel the world to experience all people as kin. Mary

The love for one another and the love of learning. Education may be something that you acquire in school, but learning is a lifetime process. And the confidence to become the person they were meant to be! Bernice

You don’t need to be rich to be generous. You can give of your time, talents, and love. Never forget that you are a child of God and with that comes many blessings. Connie

I want them to have a strong sense of family and to know that my love for them is unconditional. My practical advice for kids is always ‘if you wouldn’t want to tell your mom about it, you probably shouldn’t do it.’ I plan to pass that advice along as they get older. I think the world would be a better place if we measured all our actions by that yardstick. Vicki

That I will always love them. That nice matters more than they will ever know and that life’s not fair but is a glorious ride. Mean people suck but you can ignore or laugh at their ignorance, and that irreverence, in the right context, is the only way to roll. Linda

To keep a kind heart, an active body and a spiritual soul. To give back and pay it forward. Sharon

Maya Angelou once said that all a child really wants is to see your eyes light up when you walk into a room. I want my grandkiddos to remember the spark of love in my eyes in the joy I get just bein’ in their presence. Nezzy

The love of a God that is so in love with them that they can talk to Him whenever they want and depend upon Him to always be there for them. The love of reading and getting a good education. The love of family and a love of our wonderful country. And to know how much they are loved no matter what they do, unconditionally. Marilyn

To put it simply, to appreciate the love of family. To know that they ‘belong.’ To be tolerant and accepting of each others’ differences. I’d like them to know they are loved unconditionally. And to know that there’s a great, big, wonderful world out there waiting for them to discover it. Pauline

I want them to be givers of themselves, you know, to realize that it’s not all about them and for them to do things to help others and make others happy. I want them to know what it feels like to do something that makes a difference to someone, whether it’s a word or an action. Sherri

A sense of adventure, faith, and a realization that I believe in them and their potential 100 percent. Cheri

I’d like to pass on the understanding that none of us are perfect and that each day is a new day to try to become better than we were the day before. That forgiveness is the best medicine for ourselves and those who we feel have wronged us, that honesty is very important as it sets a foundation for all relationships. Suzanne

I want my (grand)children to know they are part of a big family with lots of aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents who love them. We are an eternal forever family and there is always someone to turn to. My grandfather had a saying he always told his kids, then us grandkids, as we left his house. “Remember whose kid you are.” We are all children of a kind, loving Heavenly Father. I want them to always remember whose “kid” they are. Edna

The knowledge of how important family is in our lives. I want them to know and appreciate all their immediate and extended family. To know how they can be their own person. To know that they can do and be anything they want. To be ladies and gentlemen.Anita

I want my grandchildren to be generous souls who care about others, who are open-minded, who stand up against bigotry and demagoguery and greed. My children and I have the same social and political values, for the most part, and I think I have a good chance of having grandchildren who are the same, because they are being raised by my children. Susan

A sense of adventure and being true to yourself. I spent way too many years trying to be what everyone else thought I should be. When I turned 50, I realized that I needed to be true to me. Donna

I want them to know that the most important thing is to make certain that their lives are God centered, and to know that Jesus is all they really need because His resources are sufficient. I want them to love and forgive freely, to be kind, patient, trustworthy, and to always honor their parents and their spouses. Billie

To be honest and to love animals the way that I do. Cheryl Ann

Self-confidence and compassion — I want them to be happy with who they are and to care about others. I try to lead by example and want to encourage these qualities in them. Sherry

Their Hawaiian culture and heritage that they get from me. And to treat everyone as they wold like to be treated. Debbie

The love of people. Taking people as they come, not as you want them to be. It’s hard, but it’s one of the most valuable things I can think of. Kathy

For more wisdom and wit from these and other grandmothers, check out the Grilled Grandma Archives.

Today's question:

What do you most want to leave your grandchildren?