Woman holding slice of chocolate cake

91 Years and Counting—the Enduring Legacy of a Generous Life

91 Years and Counting—the Enduring Legacy of a Generous Life

by Bill High

My mom turned 91 just recently. It’s a great milestone. But age alone is not the indicator of an enduring legacy. I’ve heard it said that it’s not the years of your life that matter but the life that you put into your years.

My mom has plenty of both. She was born in Japan. She grew up during WWII and ran through the streets headed for bomb shelters as American fighters flew overhead. Her family assigned her the job of trading on the black market for provisions. In the aftermath of the war, she met an American serviceman who became her husband, my father.

In 1956, she left her homeland to go to my father’s homeland. Little did she know that she would not return for 21 years. My dad’s cancer and finances prevented her from returning home for her mother’s funeral. When my dad passed away, she went to work, got a driver’s license and made sure we all had opportunity.

Along the way, she gave graciously. A specially made chocolate cake for a birthday. A tie for a new job. Every child and grandchild has their own custom-made crocheted scarf and blanket—her gift of time and skill.

These were and are her gifts. She did not achieve fame. Or fortune. But she’s lived a generous life. And we are better for it. It’s her enduring legacy.

Who is the person in your life who has left a similar legacy?



Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

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Published November 29, 2019

Topics: Lessons with Bill

Everyday GenerosityFamily LegacyParenting

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