The loss of my grandmother is forcing me to face one of the gravest realities for me. As a writer and historian, my family’s story is important to me. I believed I had lost the last connector to my history. Without a living parent or grandparent, I felt disconnected to those ancestors and events that came before me. I immediately regretted all the stories I had not written down and the facts I could not remember. I worried about how my family would move forward without our God-gifted guides. How could we carry the family name forth with honor? How would our younger generations know the stories and carry the lessons we were taught? And then it happened.
It was as if my parents and grandparents in heaven understood my concerns and were all answering me in unison.
After my grandmother’s burial, my nieces and nephews, ranging between the ages of 25-35, had gathered in one room. They were loudly enjoying each other’s company with no thought of the elders (anyone over the age of 35). I moved from my position among the elders and sat so that I could hear them. To my surprise, I heard an enlightened discussion on collective consciousness, the plight of the modern student and mounting debt, black on black crime and BLM movement, parenting classes, and the importance of personal financial education at an early age. Young people who were so focused on starting the revolution and listening to each other, even when they disagreed. I was so intrigued, I pulled out my phone and began recording, refusing to inject my thoughts and opinions on their blossoming brain trust.
I could only imagine my Activist Dad sounding so much like them during the Civil Rights Movement. I could see my Mother and Grandmother instilling those lesson they were deeming necessary into every child that entered their classrooms and crossed their paths on a daily basis. I could see my great-grandmother being the model on which those parenting classes would be based. The answers to my questions were being laid out in front of me.
My future is inextricably connected to my past. I am reminded there are no disconnects. All of those lessons from our ancestors had been instilled in these young Gilmores and they had paid attention. Even when I disagree with the choices they make, there is no need for me to worry. We are in good hands!