As I've studied my genealogy, I've learned more than the names and dates of births, weddings, and deaths. Certainly, I've heard about relational ties between individuals, which will be a future topic to explore. More intriguing to me are the contributions my ancestors have made and how those skills have been passed on to me.
Biblical Study: I grew up in a home with an open Bible on the kitchen table every morning. I developed my own spiritual study habits through my middle and high school years. Baby and preschool years presented challenges of establishing a set schedule, but I eventually realized I was a better mom when I kept up on my Bible study. While we are each responsible for our own spiritual discipline, I am grateful for the spiritual heritage exemplified my parents and both sets of grandparents. It creates a foundation for the other skills passed down to me.
Poetry: I've mentioned in previous posts that my maternal grandmother was a poet. One of the aunts on her father's side was a poet by proof of a poem printed in her graduation program. I suspect that individuals on my paternal side write poetry as well. I doubt my poetry will provide a monetary inheritance to give my family. But, I do hope they will gain far more from my occasional rhymes and sporadic sparks of reasoning.
Journals and Diaries: Both sides of my family have cataloged thoughts and feelings in journals or diaries. Some shared with cathartic verbosity, and others merely listed events with the weather. Much is gleaned by these entries, not only about the individuals themselves, but additional family members and personal insights. Sometimes, I've discovered, what isn't said is more telling than what is.
Music: Both sides of my family possess musical prowess. My grandmothers played and taught piano. Yet, each brought to this elemental instrument her own style and grace. Several members of my family play multiple instruments. Many of us sing. My childhood is a steady stream of notes and measures in lyrical lines of heart-songs. I've recently begun relearning how to play the piano. I'm certainly far from proficient, but there is something to be said for getting back on this metaphorical bicycle.
Knitting: I learned how to knit when I was eight, but didn't return to this craft until my thirties. Ever since, I have grasped onto my needles with daily fervor. I attribute this skill to my maternal grandmother and one of her sweaters has a special place on my closet shelf. Like her, I enjoy knitting for myself as well as for others.
Animal Lovers: Again my grandmothers are why I love dogs and cats. My poor husband is standing firm on the three-pet-quota. I suspect we will always have at least one pet. They provide endless cuddles and stories on a daily basis. I am amazed by their awareness of our son with special needs, and their unique relationships with him. That's reason enough for having a furry friend in the house.
I anticipate sharing these heirlooms with my sons and their families in the coming years. It's a privilege I choose to honor because of those who came before me. It's about cultivating the fruitful harvest on the branches of our family tree and keeping those heirloom blooms thriving for future generations.