A Repurposed Love Legacy

Recently, a sewing project stirred up thoughts about my legacy--mainly the memories I will leave behind with my sons and grandsons. But before I explain why, let me tell you about the project.

Back in the 1980's, my beloved grandmother took a quilting class with her sister. But making quilts wasn't her thing so she made tons of quilted pillows with ruffles like the ones pictured here. 

Through the years, many of these pillows made their way to me. I planned to combine them and make a quilt but never could get excited enough to begin. Then finally I had a great idea. Why not repurpose those squares into tote bags and give them to my mother, two aunts, two sisters and cousin? So that is what I did. 

Now I believe God allowed my grandmother to direct my steps and help me. I mean, when I got my sewing machine down, I had to look at the book to be able to thread the needle and fill the bobbin. I made mistakes along the way and had to rip out a few times, but overall, I am pleased with the results. 

Here's the legacy piece to the story. 

As I pressed and worked with the squares, I realized my sweet grandmother's hands had been the last person to touch the wrong side of the fabric. My fingers walked where her's had many years ago and that brought up many memories--some wonderful and a few, I wish didn't exist in the dark corners of my mind. 

You see, this is the grandmother I had a hard time losing back in 1991. You can read about that here.  And although I loved her deeply, she left most of us with painful memories. It would be accurate to say she was a party girl which led to some pretty terrible decisions that left deep wounds, sad memories, and even bitter feelings. 

Please don't think I'm throwing her under the bus. I do have some wonderful, beloved memories too. And I can't wait to see her in heaven one day. But her legacy is bitter-sweet. 

And that's when I began to think about my legacy. 

What memories will my family recall? Will it be my hot temper? The lousy, hurtful words that sprang from my mouth in the midst of anger? How clumsy I am? How hardheaded or opinionated I am? OH, I HOPE NOT! Lord, bleach away those memories, please.

Instead, I pray they will remember the good and fun events, the times they felt loved by me, and the wisdom we gleaned along the way. I hope they laugh about my quirkiness, recall my love of writing and learning, and embrace my passion for emotional and spiritual growth. May they think often of me, like when they eat dark chocolate, or drink tea, or smell bacon. I hope they recount the days at the beach, Christmas get-togethers, and serving Thanksgiving meals to the homeless. And most of all, I hope they will smile when these thoughts flash through their minds. 

That is what I chose to do as Grandma and I worked on the tote bags. Embrace the good and not dwell on those tough memories. None of us are saints. We all will probably leave some icky memories with our loved ones. 

I hope these legacy thoughts will stay fresh in my mind as I spend time with my family. Because I need to be more intentional in how I love and cherish these dearly loved ones. You see, one day I want their minds to reflect on my love legacy and then be encouraged to build a love legacy for those that will remember them. Maybe then, each future generation will leave behind a blessed, love legacy. 

What about you? Do you think of your legacy often? How do you want to be remembered? Please share a comment.


  1. Thank you for your words and the reminder to fully love and fully live.

    1. This is an area where I need lots of reminders. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Oh, if we could only take back those moments when we've said things in anger to our loved ones! I've definitely been there--and experienced painful moments in my childhood when I was on the receiving end of parental frustration. Tammy, I love what you've done to remember and preserve your Grandma's legacy and how you've chosen to focus on the good memories. I think all parents and grandparents probably worry about our legacy. But, we can always try to leave a legacy of love--just as Jesus did--share the love, be patient and humble, give of ourselves, and be forgiving of others. We can also strive to not repeat the same mistakes. We all mess up sometimes, but we should learn from those errors--not keep doing them. Thanks for blessing me today, my friend.

    1. Many folks have responded that too are thinking of their legacy. We can only pray that our loved ones will remember the best about us and not dwell on the negative. Jesus is a great person to model our lives after. Thanks for the sweet comment. You blessed me back! Tammy

  3. As I am reading your post, I keep hearing the new song by Casting Crowns, "Only Jesus". I pray I will show His love to everyone. I pray my legacy will be that I showed His love and shared His love. :-)

    1. That my friend is the best legacy we can leave behind! Thanks for the comment.


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