I ordered four catfish filets, a handful of shrimp and a bag of ice, unaware that I would be transported from the Kroger fish counter across time and death.
The moment happened when an employee awkwardly handed me the plastic bag of ice, open. I held the bag by its ends and twirled it. I then twisted it and tied it.
I learned this from my dad. This is the way he always secured vegetables, fruits and other grocery foods inside flimsy plastic bags. Easy peasy.
For a moment, it was kind of like he was with me again, grocery shopping like we used to do. But it was much more than that.
Do you ever smile when you mimic your parent? Do you feel proud, like you’ve somehow done something cosmically important?
Certainly, there is that connection we feel when we do something like Mom or Dad did, but I also think legacy plays into such moments.
Legacy can be running the company Dad left you, being the world-class fashionista Mom was, or supporting the Third World school that they sunk donations into.
But legacy also is in the small things. The intangible things. And it is in these passing moments that we can find a measure of healing within grief.
Not everyone has a company, a wardrobe, a pile of money or jewelry to give away as a legacy. One of the greatest legacies a parent can offer is handing down a set of positive values, but don’t discount the little things that show up.
Like the twirling plastic bag. There was a time remembering what Dad had taught me would have sent grief stomping its way through my ventricles, but now the time we shared is preeminent, not the snatching of more life together.
The little things show us that our parents and loved ones are still very much alive in our beings. They are present in these little ways.
The sense of connection is vital to healing. And the sense that I am carrying on where they left off – that I am their legacy – takes the edge off of grief.
What are your “little things” that show up? Are you at a place that you can smile about these moments? Do they foster a sense of connection? Of a bit of healing?‘
Copyright © 2020 by Toni Lepeska. All rights reserved. www.tonilepeska.com
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