By definition, an ancestor is the generations beyond your grandparents. Today, it’s not unusual for kids to know their ancestors. Great-grandparents abound. They’re meeting the little ones for lunch and hanging-out with them at the mall.  Ancestors aren’t just for bible stories anymore.

A few years ago, I went with my mom to . There are a few cemeteries, where Jewish Chicagoans bury their dead. Waldheim is the oldest. Armed with a computer print-out, we visited the graves of my ancestors. My mom knew all of their stories, the maiden aunt who lived with her grand-parents, and a cousin twice-removed whose only child died young. The legacy that her family left was one of togetherness: aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, staying close and taking care of each other.

What kind of legacy will I leave for the kids of my grandkids and so on? Will I get to know them, play with them and love them? Is there something really outstanding that I will do in my lifetime that will turn into a story to be remembered and repeated? Is it possible that I will be praised when someone of my lineage says their prayers?

I’ll try to live a life worthy of legacy, but not because I’m looking for fame or glory. does not have to worry about me. I will not become a “legend most” in advertising campaign. As I work towards leaving a legacy, and I reflect upon time spent cooking with grandma, I’ll draw upon my purpose. I’m here to simply, praise, labor and love. I read that in a prayer book once and it stuck with me. So here I am, living my legacy: Laboring— for sure, Loving— undoubtedly, and Praising— endlessly.

Praise to You
Who whispers to us
in a spring breeze,
in the sigh of leaves overhead,
in the chuckle of a running stream.

Praise to You
Who cries out to us
in the roar of waves
ever present,
all encompassing,
making You known.

Praise to You
Who calls to us
in the pop and creak of ice,
in the thump of snow sliding
in the stillness of a frozen day.

Praise to You
who puts Your song
in the hearts of the birds
and in all who gather
to sing to You.
Praise to You.



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