Whose shoulders do you stand upon? Who will stand upon your shoulders? Just how strong are your shoulders? Have you been pumped up with generational iron? Maybe your great grandmother's passion for family suppers rubbed off on your mother and now you. Or perhaps your grandfather taught you and your siblings how to make homemade ice cream and now you are teaching your kids.
Do you have fond memories of the matriarchs and patriarchs of your family? What have you gleaned from them?
Sometimes I wonder how much of "me" is really inherited from the generations before me? How much of them am I passing on to my children? I know that I am standing on the shoulders of those who have lived and loved before me. Their sacrifices and hard work have paved the way for me to even be here on this earth.
I think about my great grandfather working on ships in Italy as a teenager until he saved enough money to sail to America and start a new life. Such perseverance and determination! Or my grandfather who begged his parents to allow him to join the military even though he was underage. Such dedication and loyalty to his country! And those great grandparents who gave their sons their blessing to pursue their dreams. Such love!
I am in awe of the vintage pictures of Pete's side of the family in this post. They are little snapshots of a much bigger picture. Generations living and loving together. Grandparents, mothers, fathers, and children sharing the joys and sometimes the pains of life. The younger gleaning wisdom and strength from the older.
Oh, to hear those conversations...the sage advice, the stories of old, the gentle (and maybe not so gentle) chiding, the laughter! The elders beholding the next generation. Soaking in and touching tangible blessings - the fruits of their labor. The holders of joy and hope for the future. Maybe they are wondering to themselves, "Are those shoulders strong enough? Have we made it a little easier for them to carry the burdens that will surely come?"
In my opinion, multiple generations are meant to "do life" together. There is so much knowledge to be shared by those who have gone before us. So much encouragement to be offered both ways. We need to pump that generational iron and keep those shoulders strong. Future generations are depending on us.
The following lyrics are from a song by Sara Groves called Generations and they sum up perfectly how I feel:
Remind me of this with every decision
Generations will reap what I sow
I can pass on a curse or a blessing
To those I will never know
To my great, great, great grand daughter
Live in peace
To my great, great, great grand son
Live in peace