A Legacy of Love and Hope

“You deserve better than…” My heart perked up when I read those words from my friend. I tend to downplay what my heart hopes for in most situations and that is exactly what I had done in this one. Yet to believe I deserved better awakened me to more than I cared to engage. I blushed with embarrassment because I did not want to admit that I felt letdown. I felt caught for my desire…for what I wanted…for putting myself out there. It was easy for me to slip into disdain, to slough it off and feel angry over my vulnerability for asking in the first place. How stupid of me? And I felt sadness in the reality that, “Yes”, I did deserve better.

It is in those moments when my thoughts return to words that question my personhood. “You deserve a bad grade…you didn’t study enough.” “You don’t deserve a date…you are not pretty enough.” “You deserve to be yelled at…you made me angry.” And the list could go on. I didn’t know who could shoulder my sheer disappointment…my horror of being stuck in the consequences of my stupidity. I felt alone.

Obviously it is not difficult for me to return to those moments filled with words that caused me to feel less than. And, likewise, I remember the one person who was there to give me hope and love. It was my grandmother. She made me feel special. Her acceptance of me…her delight in me…her encouragement for me is part of her wonderful legacy. At the time I didn’t even realize that her strong Christian faith and her feisty rhetoric would resonate in my heart to this very day.

My heart feels good just thinking about her. She was an avid swimmer and so was I. We had great fun together. She wanted the best for me. She gave me what I deserved and it was good.

So here I am remembering her. And here I am a grandmother of six, wondering about my legacy for them. Will I be remembered as the Mimi who made each one know that who they are matters? Will they feel special in each of their unique personhoods? Will they get what they deserve from me…a Mimi’s heart full of love and hope for their future? I can only anticipate that “yes” they will.


I am looking forward to my book, Living in Gratitude, coming out this spring. It is one that chronicles my gratitude daily for one complete year. Each one of my grandchildren is apart of this book. It is dedicated to them: Jack, Ellie, Kaleb, Chloe, Parker and Faith. I believe they will have many glimpses into the life of their Mimi…ones that encourage…ones that make them laugh…ones that cause them to ponder. Most important are the ones that give them permission to love and to live a life that says, “Yes” to Christ.

My heart holds much goodness for my grandchildren. I can’t shield them from life’s disappointments where they, too, will feel the sting of what is perceived as deserving. But I hope they will know that their Mimi’s heart was one that gave them her best.

My hope is that you, too, have someone who reflects the best for you and your heart…better yet that you can be that someone who holds the very best for them.

Mary Jane Hamilton has grown to love her sense of style and her peaceful lake living. Mother of 2 and grandmother of 6, she has a wonderful capacity to love and is still active as The Tooth Fairy. She is extremely fond of her dachshunds, who rarely venture from her lap, and enjoys biking with her husband of 44 years. She is rekindling her writing skills and finding it life giving.