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At ninety-six, my mom continues to teach me life lessons. She is not a worrier; she is a doer. At an early age, Mom learned from her father that “idle hands are the devil’s delight.” So, whether she adopted that philosophy or not, she certainly latched onto the activity idea. And she has done everything joyfully.

Growing up on the farm, I remember Daddy saying numerous times, “Mom, come sit down with me.” To which she would reply, “In a minute, I need to finish dishes… (or strawberry hulling or laundry or whatever took her attention at the time).” And all the time she would be humming an old hymn or some other song of her youth.

Mom worked hard as a child taking care of the garden with her sister and brother. Then as an adult, she continued in the same way. She planted wheat and corn in the fields with Daddy and also planted and cared for a huge garden of fruit and vegetables.

If neighbors came to visit, which seemed to happen every day, they either had to pitch in and help her with the weeding or canning or berry picking, or sit and talk while Mom continued her work. But her busyness never sent visitors away. She was happy to have friends stop in and talk while she worked. It wasn’t that she was rude, but she had work that had to be done. And nine times out of ten, her friends happily joined her to get the job done.

I am sure Mom never started out to build a legacy. But in her consistency of living life to the fullest and seeing all things in a positive light, she ended up with volumes to leave to her children, grandchildren, and generations to follow.

I want to leave a legacy for my children, much like that of my mom’s. One of working joyfully as I build relationships with others. Today I sing as I work, much like Mom did. I forget the words at times, but that doesn’t matter. I want my children to remember that I sang. Hopefully, I am passing Mom’s legacy on to my children.

What legacy are you actively building today?

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