What Makes You You?

What makes you you? I was asked this question and upon reflection I decided that I am the product of the women in my family who came before me, the community and culture I live in, and how I synthesis this through my values, actions, and how I show up in life.

We’ve had a beautiful holiday this year with family. Last year we skied for two weeks and missed celebrating with family. This year we played games, wore hats and had a jolly good time with our relatives.

As I think about the question above I think of my maternal grandmother who raised twelve children in St. John’s Newfoundland. She would bake bread everyday and took all of the lightbulbs out of the Children’s bedrooms at night so they would fall asleep. She had an even dozen of six boys and six girls. How she did that I don’t know, but she did and lived to be over 100 years old. What a grand woman she was. Her mother died in child birth with her second child leaving both my grandmother and her brother motherless. It’s easy to image the fear and pain she must have experienced selflessly giving life to her son.

My paternal grandmother was widowed at 21 while pregnant with my father. She never remarried and raised both her children with the help of her sister Cecile and put them both through college.

I have so much respect for these women. I get my strength and courage from them as their stories and experiences are woven into my DNA.

Now I am the matriarch and my children and their children will be impacted by how I live my values and shape the trajectory of my own life.

As the world has changed so much and many cultures and religions coexist here the holiday season is more of a celebration of family than anything else. I’m proud of my ancestors who came before me and the women that will come behind me. This year we celebrated with my future niece who will marry my nephew in March. We are so blessed to have her in our lives and family.

I’ve enjoyed the city this holiday with the beautiful displays of lights, the bustling shoppers and the music of the season. I’ve enjoyed all of the amazing food and comradarie. But, most importantly, I’ve enjoyed my family and spending this special time of year together.

As we move into a new year it’s important to think about where we come from and where we are going. Our lives influence others and shape who they will become.

Happy holidays everyone. Love and blessings to all.

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