by Mary Ellen Tippin
My mother wasn’t one for fine furniture and genuine gems. She was unruffled and easy going for the most part. As long as good food and coffee were part of the plan, she seemed quite content. Maybe that’s why she lived in relative health until her death at 101 years old!
Her legacy to her family definitely wasn’t material. But she did leave behind something that has affected several generations in a most positive way already:
Her ability to not take offense.
What I mean by this is she was thick-skinned when she could have been hurt, offended, or angered by what was said to her or about her by another family member. Along with not getting offended in the first place, she had the ability to quickly forgive and forget, and then carry on in a most loving manner.
As grandparents, this trait would be one we would do well to put into practice. If we really desire a relationship with our children and those darling grandchildren, we can’t go around getting hurt or angry by what is said or done to us by our children, our sons-in-law and daughters-in-law.
I am not unaware of the cruel and unfeeling nature of some of these conversations directed toward us, but we have to stop and ask ourselves:
“Would I rather be offended and risk losing a long-term relationship with this family?”
“Could I, for the sake of a relationship and the influence I can give, hold my tongue, strive for the greater good, and overlook this offense?”
Am I suggesting something that is easily enacted? Hardly! In fact, it may be one of the most difficult things you have ever done.
Would it prove worth it in the long run? I would venture to answer in the affirmative almost every time.
Doing the hard thing is often the best thing.
Being slow to take offense, being quick to forgive and forget—these are beautiful legacies that build relationships, offer undeserved love, shine as ornaments of real beauty in our lives as observed and enjoyed by those special grands!
Mary Ellen Tippin is author of six children’s books. (Find out more at maryellentippin.com.) In addition to writing, she enjoys music, flowers, hosting people in her home, and influencing her ever-growing number of grandchildren. She and her husband, RJ, live near Newton, KS.