Legacy Redefined

  • It Started 30+ Years Ago

When I think of the word “Legacy”, for some reason I think of three things. 1. Grandkids, 2. Funerals and 3. Money. I’m not sure why those three things come to mind, but whenever the word “Legacy” is brought up, those three words linger in my brain. However, after this weekend, my mental response to the word “legacy” is shifting a bit. This weekend… actually the last TWO WEEKS… have been a whirlwind of travel, shoots, hosting, workshops and way too many hours spent on the road.

It’s been busy…. but we can do busy. However, we can only do “busy” when we know that our busyness is life-enhancing, productive and includes quality time with people.  This past weekend wasn’t productive in the sense of “work”… but it was life-enhancing and included some amazing quality time with some people that a year ago…. maybe even just 9 months ago… were not a huge part of my everyday life.

You’re probably wondering where this is going and I don’t blame you. Let me explain. My dad grew up in Winchester, Virginia. It’s a beautiful town on the outskirts of the mountains. He grew up there and had a pretty normal childhood until high school.  During his Junior year of high school, he lost his dad and then few years later, he lost his mom. I can only imagine that being an only child and being a “people person” made this tragic season of life even harder on him. However, he had some amazing friends that came to the rescue and became his family since he was suddenly on his own at 18. These are the type of friends that everyone needs in their life. Greg and Randy were there for Daddy during that dark season and they have remained close friends despite living hours apart, starting families and building careers in different cities.

I remember being a little girl and visiting the Stickleys and the Duvalls (our godparents). We met their kids and knew who they were but as we got older, we saw them less and less. Schedules got crazy and so the Stickleys, Duvalls and James families never really saw each other.  That all changed this past fall. Through some random events, we reunited and after just one dinner together, we realized that not only did the parents have an incredible friendship, the kids LOVED each other too!! It’s like we were raised EXACTLY the same way and because of that, we feel like we have known each other forever! We may have missed the majority of each others’ childhoods but we’ve been reunited and it feels so good! (That song will be stuck in your head the rest of the day, you’re welcome:).

The BEST part of this story is that each dad ended up having two girls….. and all SIX of us love each other so much that we decided to meet up at JMU this weekend and have a sister’s weekend together!! This time together was rare, precious, intentional and I loved it. I wonder if years ago… when our dad’s were growing up together and they were there for my dad during that hard time… did they ever imagine that they would get married and each have two daughters.  And did they ever imagine that one day their daughters would be hanging out together talking about how much they love their dads over pizza in Harrisonburg?! Multiple times this weekend, we found ourselves mentioning just how thankful we are for our parents and the way they raised us.  They taught us to love, serve and live like Jesus and while we fail often, THAT is LEGACY.

I hope that as they see these pictures of their girls together… all grown up… they realize just how powerful their legacy is. Just imagine if each one of us has two girls of our own and we somehow manage to raise our kids the way our parents raised us…. now that is some SERIOUSLY awesome legacy!! After this weekend, my vision of legacy doesn’t look like wills, 401K’s, grandkids, hand-me-down furniture or heirloom jewelry.  It looks like sitting around a table in a Thai food restaurant and being vulnerable about life with your dad’s best friend’s daughters. It looks like praying in the parking lot together before we parted ways and headed back to our different towns. After this weekend, Legacy looks like raising kids that long to be just like their parents. Sharing life, sharing struggles and loving each other even when we live hours a part. I think it’s safe to say that all six of us girls are so thankful for our parents and the legacy they have imbedded into us during our childhood. I was reminded of this so much this weekend and I left our time together so grateful for my childhood and thinking about how I want to do the same for our kids one day. (I’m not pregnant by the way!)

If your parents have left a legacy of some kind in your life…. be sure to thank them once you realize it. :) That’s a rare and beautiful gift!!!!! Here are some iPhone pics from our weekend together!

Ps. This is a picture of 4 of us (+Corey) together when we were so tiny!!

xoxo, Katelyn
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