by Mary Ellen Tippin

From Ken Canfield: 

I have long been aware and appreciative of how grandmothers are the catalyst of this grandparenting movement. I know for my late wife, Dee, this was one of the most prized roles she ever had, and it’s a joy to see a multitude of other grandmothers taking leadership. I’m delighted to introduce you to Mary Ellen Tippin, a good friend for many years who is doing tremendous work as a mother and grandmother—and author—to help children thrive.


It seems to me a hazard of getting older, this contemplation of what we will leave behind after we exit this world. Some would call it a legacy. The other day I attended yet another funeral of a friend. It caused me to envision what my own funeral would be like, what would be said about me and how I would be remembered

Solomon, said to be the wisest man to have ever lived, stated in the Bible in Ecclesiastes 7, “It is better to attend a funeral than a party because death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.”

This really isn’t all so morbid and bleak! In relation to our grandchildren, it is a good thing to examine the legacy or memories they will hold of us, their grandparents. For example:

“My grandfather always removed his hat and put his hand over his heart when he heard the National Anthem.” We can leave a legacy of loyalty and respect.

“My grandmother had the most beautiful flowers. She would personify the flowers and talk about their sweet faces.” We can leave a legacy of appreciation for beauty and nature.

“My grandfather taught me to mow and trim the lawn, how to maintain the mower and take pride in my work.” We can leave a legacy of the value of hard work and a job well done.

“My grandmother was an amazing seamstress, yet she took the time to sew doll blankets with me and other simple projects.” We can leave a legacy of time spent together.

“My grandparents attended all my soccer games, and there were a lot!” We can leave a legacy interest in our grandchildren’s sports and hobbies.

“My grandparents picked me up from school every day, and I stayed at their house until my mom picked me up after she got off work. I loved going to their house!” We can leave a legacy of sacrifice and commitment.

“My grandpa loved donuts, especially going for donuts with his grandkids. And we loved it as much as he did.” We can leave a legacy of the joy of relationship.”

“My grandma was always sending me stuff in the mail, even when I was in college. I felt so loved.” We can leave a legacy of love and thoughtfulness.

I hope you are catching the vision by now! We are leaving a legacy of some kind in so many different ways. But we can make that legacy even better by intentionality. To add value to our lives, to really enjoy more purpose and meaning in our own existence, leaving a wonderful legacy for our grandchildren is a fantastic way of doing just that. But amazingly, the legacy doesn’t stop with our grandkids. It is a gift that continues to give! We can, by this intentional “investment,” affect generations to come with the “treasures” we pass down and isn’t that something worth living for?

Mary Ellen Tippin is author of six children’s books. (Find out more at 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.