Family legacy in the digital age many times is expressed, lived, and illustrated via social media. Our family has made efforts to go further keeping us connected and providing an example for the younger generations.
To me legacy means connecting the past with the future. It makes way for stories to be told, the joys and the hardships. Family legacy anchors our hearts and souls to those whom share the same blood and DNA. Family legacy is something to be nurtured leaving a window into the past for future generations.
Families today are on the go like never before. Everyone going their seperate ways taking on daily challenges as best they can. Social media can make it super easy to stay connected. And for some this is truly their only option due to the high cost of travel. Air travel can really make face-to-face visits impossible depending on family size and budget.
I've always yearned to stay connected to relatives near and far. Having had 4 siblings I've been accustomed to being surrounded with family.
The stories, photos, recipes, and general banter we have with family is unique. Think of a family member you cherish either today or even as a young child, are you smiling yet? Sure every family has a little drama or upsets, nevertheless seeing a part of yourself in others is special.
As a kid my parents made efforts to insure we saw extended family at varying intervals. I've been blessed to know my Great Grandmother and Grandmother on both Mom and Dad side. People are always amazed to learn my son met my Great Grandmother. Truly amazing!!
Our family has had many strong and influential matriachs and patriarchs. Many are no longer with us. It's not usual, but I have a 75 year old Great Uncle on my Mother's side who is one of the coolest dudes I've ever known. He gifted me my first camera after High School Graduation and gave me away at my wedding. (drove in from Nashville, TN to surprise me!!! 😉
Truly a special relationship we've developed over the years. We all have at least one person we'd drop everything to be there for them, this man is one person I would move mountains for. He set the pace by always saving the day when a family member was in peril. Truly amazing! So glad he is still a part of our lives.
Summers and school breaks periodically included trips to San Diego, CA, Monterey, CA, and as far as Milwaukee, WI. We loved these excursions and the memories have been indelibly etched into my mind.
Following in my parents footsteps I've made it a priority to reconnect with loved ones even in our digital age. Sure Facebook, and a host of other social media outlets can help keep people connected. Yet, there can never be a substitute for in person human connection.
For many of us technology is the norm, yet I have been reminded older family members are not always open to technology; either because of the lack of skill or general disinterest. So as the saying goes, "if you can't beat them, join them". And sometimes this means an in person visit.
The Carter Lake House, what we've fondly named our Uncle's home, (pictured above) does not have wifi!! That's right my last few visits immediately forced me onto a digital retreat. No Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube. After realizing this in all honesty I consider this my safe haven and even look forward to this digital retreat. It's one place I can go and not be tied to posts, updates, or any of our digital noise. Simply divine.
For the last several years our family has made travel a regular part of our lives. We've taken a road trip from California to Texas, and recently flew to Atlanta, GA. In addition we took a mini road trip from Georgia to North Carolina. Managing travel for 4 people while not easy on an already fragile budget made it clear to our kids that family is important. Some sacrifies are necessary the kids were so estatic about this trip.
As a parent I feel creating opportunities for our children to know their living family members is important. For this Thirty Plus Mom I feel accomplished.
If I don't do this for them who will? While it's true some relationships will only be temporary or limited, just making the effort is what really counts.
This year we splurged and made these trips happen. Our next project will be writing letters to our loved ones as a way of staying connected. Doing this will give us time to recoup finances from our trip and resurrect the great art of writing. Good ole family fun…simple but effective. And by writing letters it helps get back to basics providing a fun activity for us to do together at no cost.
What does family legacy mean to you? How do you stay connected to family who live miles away?
Wishing you joy!!