Guest author JoAnna Anderson brings home the importance of legacy, and how everyone is entitled to one and frankly, everyone has an opportunity to provide one.
It’s been 20 years now and I find some of the memories of my dad slowly starting to fade away. I often share stories of times with my dad and lessons learned with my children. Many of them have been repeated over and over. There are no new stories to tell. I have poured out his memory in words and pictures upon the next generation. Sometimes my children will say, “Remember when Papa did/said?” My oldest child was only 1-year old when Dad died, so my children never got a chance to know him for themselves. However, I’ve shared the stories so much that they feel like they knew him.
Dad was a well-known man in the community. His golden skin tone, flashing smile (with a small gap in between his front teeth), deep voice, muscular arms and legs, round belly and charming Southern personality made him the “catch” of the town. For my siblings, he ruled with an iron hand. As the baby girl, I was fortunate to see his softer side. When he would drive me back and forth to college, we had long talks about the family and how things were when he was growing up. He imparted wisdom and life lessons to me that will last a lifetime or perhaps lifetimes. His legacy lives on as I share these lessons and wisdom with my children and hopefully they will share with their children.
Legacy is becoming more and more important to me as I grow older. I often wonder, what impact am I having on my children or on this world? What will they say about me when I’m gone? Will I be able to impart a physical/material legacy onto my children?
No doubt, when we are gone, we leave some things behind. After all, we can take nothing with us on our next journey. The beauty is that we have the power, right now, to decide in our words, actions, investments, etc., to set the tone for what our legacy will be.
Will our children tell stories of how we worked our fingers to the bone trying to provide for our family?
Will they say Mom taught me how to fish, hunt, dress our kill, shoot a rifle, be great at business, grow a garden, fly a plane, cook, pray, or survive in the wilderness?
Will they share the lessons we taught them?
I am a strong believer that we should leave this world having poured out every good thing on the next generation.
As for a physical/material legacy, some will have the ability to leave money, houses, jewels, hats, guns, golf clubs, fishing equipment, vehicles, etc. and these will be sweet rewards for the next generation. Just think about how it might feel to shoot with the same gun your great, great, grandfather owned. A physical piece of legacy always comes with a story.
Growing up as the youngest of 28 children, I received several hand-me-downs from my siblings and my cousins. None of it lasted very long. As you can imagine, when my dad passed there wasn’t enough to go around for every child to receive much of material significance. My brothers inherited his guns and I was left with his favorite blue robe and purple church socks. Now that may not seem like much, but it evokes a feeling of nostalgia every time I see, smell, and feel the texture of those items. I have my dad back for just a moment and all of the memories and life lessons come flooding in. That’s enough for me.
So where do we begin with creating a legacy? We start sharing NOW. Share those stories. Share those skills. Show them how to use the tools that you hold dear. Ask them what belongings they would desire when you’re gone. Create a will or trust to ensure that those material items are imparted to them. A legacy is great way to achieve a small piece of immortality. Your today has an impact on their tomorrow.
JoAnna Anderson is a successful real estate investor, realtor, speaker, coach and radio host. She excels at marketing, negotiations, team building and management, outsourcing and partnering with county officials to improve communities while creating real estate solutions for homeowners. Her business focuses on wholesales, rehabs, and buy and holds. Prior to becoming a real estate investor, she was a high school biology teacher for 14 years. She strongly believes that you can “give a man a fish, and feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, you feed Him for a lifetime.” She enjoys making sure that generations of bellies are full for a lifetime as she shares her knowledge with others – especially her 2 daughters, 27 siblings, 63 nieces and nephews, and an immeasurable amount of greats. Educating others is both her passion and her gift.
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The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women. View all posts by The WON
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