Home Grandparenting carrying our ancestors in our hearts

carrying our ancestors in our hearts

by Shawni

I’m still going strong on my meditation practice {almost} every morning.

And I’m so working on being present enough to let meditation and being present change me (love this podcast about that). But I digress. The reason I bring meditation up is that one of my favorite five-minute gratitude meditations (that I’ve mentioned a few times before) talks about ancestors. “Recall that millennia of ancestors had to survive before you so that you could be here now, in this body, in this life. Feel your body radiating with [their] light” Ok it really doesn’t say “their” light, but don’t you think that part of our light did come from them? I do.

I love thinking about those ripple effects.

My Grandpa would be 100 years old this year. He passed away when my Dad was only fifteen years old (I talked all about that Grandpa of mine back HERE). We have been trying to find ways to honor him in this 100th year. So I decided in our family we should get busy memorizing part of the letter he wrote to my Dad shortly before he passed away. It is a letter that is so powerfully beautiful I cannot read it without tearing up. Oh I just envision that loving father wanting with all his heart to leave his son (and the rest of his family) with any parts of him that he could. It makes me so emotional to think of leaving my family like he did, not being able to see them grow and become. So his letter becomes that much more precious.

This is my favorite part of the advice he gave:

“Be honest, upright and strong for that which is right.

Love your fellow men and be tolerant of them. Never belittle anyone. Most everyone is better than you in some way.

Be kind.

The greatest thought that Christ left on earth is Love. It surpasses everything else. If a person practices love–then everything else takes care of itself.”

I mentioned that I told Grace about it and she posted it on her missionary Facebook back HERE.

I figured that if I was going to get any traction for cajoling my kids into memorizing with me I better put it on task for the upcoming “poetry night” my neighbor was holding…so good to have a deadline. (And yes, we “underperformed” in quite a dramatic way compared to all those impressive home-schooled kids.) But to me, it was the most beautiful thing we could weave into our hearts to carry around with us, and to me, the room filled up with our love of that Grandpa none of us have ever met as we recited those lines of love.

We also memorized a quote from my mom’s mom a while back (all about “the impossibles” back HERE) and I carry that one around with me also. I hope my children do as well.

Probably so since I make their eyes roll every now and again when I bring it up when they’re about to do something they deem to be “impossible.” Ha!

Now we need to figure out some lines from all the other grandparents. Because there is something so beautiful about “turning the hearts” and carrying around pieces of those “millennia of ancestors” who had to survive before us so that we can “be here now, in this body, in this life,” just like my meditation reminds me.

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2 comments

Shelly Rawlins March 25, 2021 - 9:15 am

So beautiful! I wish I had words from my dad and grandfather, however, I try to remember the things they taught me so I can teach those to my boys. This gives me the idea of having my husband write letters to our sons. My husband is trying so hard to beat cancer and it has been a struggle for him.

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Kristen Arnett March 25, 2021 - 10:32 am

Love this so much! I just finished reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now book and loved it. I will have to check out this podcast with Oprah. And I seriously love this turning of the hearts stuff. What a sweet letter to have from your grandpa. After watching the Disney movie Coco I really thought we should do more to remember our ancestors like they do with Day of the Dead celebrations!! It really is beautiful!

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