Like an inheritance

Mama and Daddy with their aging children, January 2014

Mama and Daddy with their aging children, January 2014

“Avoid providing material for the drama that is always stretched tight between parents and children; it uses up much of the children’s strength and wastes the love of the elders, which acts and warms even if it doesn’t comprehend. Don’t ask for advice from them and don’t expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is strength and blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.”Rainer Maria Rilke

Rilke did not have an ideal childhood, but as with many others who mature beyond youthful unhappiness, he was able to see past the difficulties to the timeless treasures that are inherent in family ties.  Despite the seemingly universal  presence of sorrow and heartbreak in our lives, almost all of us have known the blessings of nurturing love such as Rilke describes.

Today, I invite you to celebrate that love, and if you are fortunate enough to have parents who are still living, thank them for the inheritance they have stored up for you, and rejoice in the boundless world that comes with it.

One year ago today:

The incredible gift



  1. Good morning, Julia! I love photos of kin. You all look so … related! Blessings on your day!

    • Thanks Susan, you have put it perfectly. When we were younger people used to remark how unalike we looked, but we are definitely…RELATED! 😀 Thanks so much for being here with us.

  2. singleseatfighterpilot

    Just click on “The Incredible Gift” (one year ago yesterday), and read the comments for some entertaining Internet repartee 🙂

    • Eric, I did go back and read it, and it was a lot of fun. Plus the photo of Mom and Dad brought back memories of a beautiful oasis of joy in the midst of a tough year. In that brief visit to Atlanta I was able to see Mom and Dad, to be at the hospital when Grady was born, and to have lunch with my favorite teacher (Mrs. Rodriguez) whom I had not seen since fourth grade! There are always things to be thankful for, even in the darkest times.

  3. The love of parents is indeed a blessing when we are the receivers and has the deepest feeling to me. After my mom died in 2011, and that special love wasn’t physically present, I longed for a hug, a smile, a phone call, an errand request, etc.. I would have accepted ANYTHING. So I went to my memories and there I found the greatest of inheritance, because she lingered there for me. 🙂 I’ve mentioned before how very much I love “The Incredible Gift” blog from last year. That’s a good looking family today!

    • Aw, thank you Sheila. I am glad you are able to be comforted with the memories of your mother. I always used to tell Mama and Daddy that they would never leave me because even when they are not here, I would still know what they would be saying. But that was many years ago and I am old and wise enough to know that it will still be terribly hard to be without them in person, even though I will still talk to them and listen to what I know they would be telling me. I am grateful for every day I have with them and with all those I love. Thank God for the inheritance of love from our parents!

  4. Jack

    What encouraging remarks to show to my wife who is a close up witness to her mother’s rapid descent into dementia and uncharacteristic sharpness and even mean-spiritedness. She understands with her head but, as we all do, misses with her heart how such mutual lifelong devotion can now come to harsh and hurtful words and actions. A mother’s love can never be repaid, but now it’s time to give it a try.

    • Jack, that last sentence is a beautiful thought. I know your wife must be suffering terrible heartache right now, and I pray she will be comforted by the memories of the woman her mother was before illness took that person away. There are so many sorrows that we can understand in our minds yet we still feel deeply hurt in our hearts. I hope Rilke’s quote will speak to her as it did to me (in my case, it resonated with my feelings about my role as mother as well as daughter).

  5. Carolyn

    This is still a great looking family. Julia will send me something on email so I can send you our plans and phone number. I did get a good report today about my eyes,still looks like some more surgery on the right eye, not sure when. She took out some stitches and it feels better and they worked on the prism and I can see better. Take care and love to all.

    • Hi Carolyn, thanks for your kind words about our family. I just sent you an email so let me know if you get it. So happy that your eye is better now! I will keep praying for you and hope the next surgery will complete everything. I am so excited that we may get to see you soon! ❤ ❤ ❤ Do you realize it has been over 24 years??

  6. MaryAnn

    What a marvelous photograph! Please share the names of your siblings. I believe they contribute to your blog w/ love & humor. I especially treasure the comments from your father. (I, also, call my father “Daddy”. He passed away in 1970 at age 70.)

    • Hi Mary Ann, that’s Al on the far left in the yellow shirt. He’s the youngest and tallest, and he never uses computers and has no desire to learn. As far as I know he has never read my blog, though he knows about it through Daddy. Carla is my older sister. Eric is standing between her and me. He is the oldest of the four of us. We were relatively close in age; all born in less than nine years’ time, each of us in a different state. My mother was quite a busy woman! I am glad your father was a “Daddy” too!

      • singleseatfighterpilot

        For one example, of the four, Eric was born in a state of confusion.

        • Hee-hee, no comment from me. 😀

        • MaryAnn

          Eric, You & Julia are such “wordsmiths”, it makes it such a joy to read your banter.:D

          • Mary Ann, that’s sweet of you. I am sure it’s easier to read than to listen to. 😀

  7. Amy

    I love this. What a great photo and you are right it is a wonderful gift. Love to your boys. A

    • Thank you Amy! Love to you too! ❤

  8. bobmielke

    I had to take a cry break after looking at this picture. There’s a twinkle in every eye that brings out those genuine happy smiles. 🙂

    • Aw, thank you Bob!

  9. raynard

    Julia when my uncle is now” the senior member in the family, he outlived , his mother my grandmother and his sister my mom. We were on a conference call last night with various family members. The plan is to plan a family reunion over breakfast for next year at a Christian Retreat in upstate NY.. Funny cause on my 50th birthday I was on one of my Cannonball Runs and passed right by it near Scenic Route 97. Be blessed

    • Raynard, I think it would be kind of lonely to be in the position your uncle is in, where all the folks he knew from his earliest memories are gone. That’s the down side to living a long life. I do hope your family can get together for a reunion! Maybe it will be your chance to get re-acquainted with some that you don’t see very often. I’ve only ever been to one family reunion in my life, but I would like to go to more of them.

Thanks for encouraging others by sharing your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: