A Legacy of Love
At age 30, I found myself accidentally pregnant. Now don’t judge. I was on birth control and it failed. Luckily, I was in a loving and stable relationship (be it the beginning of it). Nevertheless, we became a baby family.
As my son grew, I began mulling over things like the importance of my career and weighed it against the heavy task of raising a human being. Making sure my little human being was good-natured and that he treated people with equality, dignity and respect was important to me.
On the other hand, I really loved my career. I loved the excitement of my job and even more, I love the never-ending opportunity to learn and grow intellectually thanks to my job.
It became a balancing act. How was I going to feed my own needs and still fulfill to the vast responsibilities of being a parent? Somehow, I was making it work. I was so pleased. I could do it all.
By the time my son was 15 months old, my balancing act got knocked on its ass. My son was diagnosed with a speech delay. My priorities shifted and I realized that I would need to detour my career in order to facilitate the help he would need in order to catch up to his age group. It was then that I made the very conscious decision that my legacy would not lie in a career or job title, but rather in the wellness and development of my son.
I took a job that I was frankly embarrassed to talk about. I realize that a job is a job and a blessing in this economy, but I had definitely taken a major step backward in my career path to ensure that my schedule
could accommodate speech therapy for my son. And I was okay with that – for a little while.
Days answering benign software questions at a call center left me reading poetry during caller rants and looking inward for comfort and understanding. I had to look at my situation and chalk it up to sacrifice.
On those days when it was nearly unbearable to take call after call, I remembered the person who had sacrificed so much for me. My grandmother. And still, under pressure to do so, I cannot name a single job she ever held. In her 90 years, she held many. Well, that’s not entirely true, I can remember one job: grandma. And she was amazing at it.
My grandmother died when I was 25. There’s been a hole inside of me ever since. If I were to put her legacy into one word, it would be “love.” And when my intellectual side looks at that and all my other sides consider that, it’s exactly the legacy I want to leave as well.
In my 20s, I didn’t think about my legacy. I didn’t think about my grandmother’s legacy. Honestly, it was too hard to think about her much at all after she passed. But I remember thinking of her on April 27, 2011, as I bore my son into the world and wishing she was there to love him. To share that legacy. I was starting my 30s with a tremendous opportunity to be so many things and begin to carve out a legacy like the one I most admired.
I’ve been so fortunate to have a job again that I love and one that challenges me again. And my little Duncan is doing great. He amazes me everyday and sometimes I find myself wondering what his legacy will be.
For some, their legacy can be bigger than time and memories. Or it can be words carefully put together in poems to create sound and story that can connect a chasm. Or it can be love. Just the simple everyone-can-do-it kind of love that was my grandmother’s legacy and that I chose to be mine.
Sara Downey resides with her family in Denver, Colorado. She is the in-house marketing coordinator for a Denver-based SEO company. She is 33 years-old and loving every single second of it. Her son, Duncan, fiance, Mike and little dog, Roger Sterling, round out her beloved family. Sara writes guest posts for a number of blogs and her work can be found at meanestlook.com. She loves handbags, shoes and fashionable scarves. After three years of playing roller derby, this rough and tumble girl has hung up her skates and is desperately still trying to lose the last of the baby weight.