A legacy of joy

There I was on my last night in Portland standing in the kitchen chatting away with Aunt Joan and rubbing my feet together. As I realized what I was doing I let out a laugh followed by an “oh god” then a sigh then a “my mom does this.”   Aunt Joan laughed too as she recognized this cricket like mannerism from her sister, a mannerism which is partially funny, partially annoying and partially just weird.

We started talking about family and those little strings that run through generations in the tapestry of us. I shared how I was dumbfounded when listening to The Sisters (this would be my mom, Aunt Joan & Aunt Eileen) discuss how grandma would flick her fingers when nervous or anxious because….you guessed it….I DO THIS TOO! And now that I know that Grandma did it, I kind of like it because I feel like she is there with me when I get nervous.

The next morning on our way to the airport Aunt Joan shared a recent experience where she was joyful over something relatively small while at a doctor’s appointment. As she began to defend her rising joy at a seemingly small event, the doctor stopped her in her tracks and said “you know that is a gift.” We laughed and enjoyed the story and I noted how I too have this and that it is one of my greatest treasures.

I usually define it as “I have a naturally high set point for happiness.” or “I find joy in the simple moments.” What I didn’t realize until THAT MOMENT is that this is my grandmothers’ legacy. It is a way of being, a choice and a model that has been passed down through the generations. In short, it is a gift. A gift that I received from my grandmother and that Calliope is receiving from me. So thank you grandma for my greatest treasure, your legacy of no matter what situation you found yourself in, choosing Joy.

I made a choice in my 20’s to live by these values without even knowing where they came from…


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