Happy Monday and happy International Women’s Week, as well as International Women’s Day! Aren’t Mondays marvelous? I always look forward to Mondays because they are my #52Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!
As I mentioned last week, the whole month of March is celebrating, among other things, National Women’s History Month. Additionally, Saturday was the kick-off of International Women’s Week [which starts the first Saturday in March]. PLUS, today is also International Women’s Day! That makes this a really great time (to the third power) for celebrating women around the world!
Today, this week, and all month we’re celebrating women’s achievements –socially, spiritually, economically, educationally and politically. Furthermore, this day is also dedicated to bringing world-wide awareness to gender equality – or rather the continued lack of it!
According to NationalDayCalenar.com, “In many parts of the world, women are less likely to own land, a business, or attend school. Education alone is a powerful tool leading to financial independence for women. Their children reap the rewards, often for generations to come.”
As an avid reader, Mom often promoted, in her many food-for-thought articles, the benefits of always trying to learn something new each and every day.
“My mother had many sayings. She would say, ‘Kamala, you may be the first to do many things; make sure you’re not the last.’ Which is why I said [in my victory speech], ‘I will be the first, but I will not be the last.’ And that’s about legacy. That’s about creating a pathway. That’s about leaving the door more open than it was when you walked in.” – Kamala Harris, Dec. 2020, TIME’s Person of the Year.
Back in December, when I heard this statement (above) in Kamala Harris’ interview with Time, as one of their two persons of the year for 2020, I was so impressed! I think my mom would’ve been, also, for that was the kind of “legacy” she wanted and tried to leave.
Like Kamala’s mom, my mom had many positive sayings too – those she picked up from her own mother, those she developed through her life-long faith, and others she created from her own comedic talents combined with her real-life experiences as a “working-woman in a man’s world”.
Through many of her inspirational, food-for-thought articles, geared toward the Women’s-Lib-Movement-fence-sitting-housewives-turned-homemakers (like herself), Mom promoted the importance of identifying our strengths and developing our skills, while always being true to ourselves. She encouraged being a good role model and mentor. “And if you can’t be a lighthouse,” she would say, “at least be a candle!”
What does it mean to leave a legacy? It’s like putting an indelible mark on the future by contributing to forthcoming generations. People naturally want to feel that their life had purpose and mattered to someone. But many wonder how to succeed at such a task.
“How To Leave a Legacy”, by Marelisa Fabrega, at DaringToLiveFully.com, offers up some great advice on the many ways people can leave an everlasting mark in this world BEFORE they’re gone. I loved her analogy about how to know if you’re successfully leaving a legacy (or not) by picturing your 80th birthday party! Marelisa wrote:
“Everyone you’ve had an impact on, or have influenced in some way, is there. As they get up to toast you on your birthday, what would you like them to say about you? That’s what you want your life to stand for.”
My family helped me put together a wonderful 80th birthday party for Mom! However, her birthday is in early January – when we Michiganders are usually dealing with snow storms and that weekend, of Mom’s party, was no exception! Thus there were a lot of guests who couldn’t make the drive.
The expected large party turned out to be quite small. We were almost disappointed, if not for those who did make it; because Mom heard so many wonderful memories from them – things about her genuine care, her heart-warming friendship, and the positive impacts she made in their lives! In most cases, Mom didn’t even realize she had done so much.
‘I’ve had so many good examples to follow – I’ll try to be one, myself, to somebody else.’ – Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book… (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 8)
I imagine Mom would’ve really been flabbergasted by the tribute our local museum paid her just a few years ago, after her passing. Every year, the St. Clair Historical Museum puts on a presentation called “The Next 10”, paying tribute to 10 former residents, (people no longer with us) who contributed greatly to our community.
Their Fall 2018 presentation included my mom as one of “The Next 10”. I was so happy to contribute what I could when a few different people, working on the project, contacted me for information, stories, photos and other materials. They put on a beautiful slideshow presentation for each of the 10 legacy honorees; and each one had a different “speaker”, presenting the family’s and community’s memories of them.
So many friends and family members of those honored filled the room. I felt very privileged to be among them – to feel all the love in the room was tremendous! I was especially pleased during the social that followed, because they served ice cream with a batch of Mom’s Sanders-Style Hot Fudge Sauce that someone had lovingly made for the event! Here’s an encore copy of one of her versions – I shared this version last April, on WHBY’s “Good Neighbor” show, with Kathy Keene:
FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in…
My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 88)
TELEVISION COULD DO so much to better inform and entertain us in a positive way, but it hasn’t. Responsible journalism has many times, succumb to irresponsible hashing and rehashing of tragedies in the world, and man’s inhumanity to man, when there is still so much good going on that could be reported. There ARE good things happening.
There are people behaving with compassion, people constructively setting a worthy example to follow. There are government officials who are representing those who elected them, in a responsible and respectable way. There is good taking place all over the world.
Reporting such events along with the tragedies, would give balance to the news and reinstate public trust and faith in responsible journalism. Where and how does such a change begin, but with the individual. Separately or collectively, opinions can be directed to news agencies at every level of the media.
“Give me not your headlines of murder and deceit,
But tell me of the better things that make our lives complete.
Fill page one with happenings that speak of loving giving.
Fill a column with advice on better ways of living.
Tell me of the births today, they are our salvation.
Let death take a holiday. Tell me of creation.”
– James Grimes
There are the obvious monetary inheritances we can leave behind – cash and other such assets for our heirs (to serve as foundations on which to build their own financial futures and legacies), money bequeathed to charities that are dear to our hearts, or scholarship fund endowments for future students.
“The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives… The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.” – Bill Graham
But leaving a great legacy isn’t about what we’ve accumulated in money, assets, or position. More accurately, it’s about how we can use what we have to improve, around us, whomever and/or whatever needs it. Here are some examples I’ve gathered on how we can leave our own legacies behind through our…
WORK: by starting our own businesses and adding knowledge and new skills to our chosen fields. We could also start non-profit organizations in our communities, creating neighborhood recycling programs, gardens, parks, or playgrounds – to name a few different legacies. Or we could be volunteers, passing on our own expertise from hard work and experiences. We could even leave a legacy by “working” to right a wrong.
WRITING: by authoring a book. We could write our memoirs, capturing the essence of who we are by penning our family-traditions, life-lessons, values, accomplishments, beliefs and hopes. In fact, next Sunday is National Write Down Your Story Day! We could also write “legacy letters” to our loved ones – including everything we’d want to say if we knew we didn’t have long to live.
ELECTRONIC RECORDS: by recording videos of ourselves – either one or many. We could also create websites dedicated to the kinds of legacies we’d like to leave behind for future generations. Likewise, we could write blogs to post on those websites!
ANCESTRY: by passing on to our descendants some of their “roots” through traditionally family-held heirlooms, like generational bibles, wedding rings, and/or wedding dresses; as well as irreplaceable, handmade afghans, quilts, recipe collections, photo albums, journals and scrapbooks.
‘WHEN YOU KNOW BETTER, do better. Just because you are not doing wrong doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing right. Remember the importance of setting a good example. The things we do each day influences others.’ – Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 24)
MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in…
Gloria Pitzer’s Reliable Recipes For Reluctant Cooks (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1983, p. 8)
BE SOMETHING TO SOMEONE!
BEING APPRECIATED FOR what you are and the good you can offer is one of the greatest rewards for trying to improve one’s life. The real test comes when there seems to be no one to appreciate you and you have to face the temptation for crumbling under self-pity or pretending that it doesn’t matter – that you can make it alone if you have to.
The test of real strength comes with the realization that you are alone. That’s when you have to make the decision to give up or stand up! It’s never easy, but no one ever promised that it would be! Being alone and yet surrounded by people makes the feeling of the famished affections one of the most challenging aspects of nourishment today… Be something to someone!
In honor of this week also being National Girl Scout Week and National Girl Scout Day being on Friday, here is Mom’s “secret recipe” for imitating their Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 224)
P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…
Don’t forget – the whole month of March is still celebrating, among other things: Irish-American Heritage Month, National Caffeine Awareness Month, National Celery Month, National Craft Month, National Flour Month, and National Sauce Month!
Furthermore, one of the many celebrations for last week and this whole week is aimed at National Procrastination Week – which is actually celebrated during the first TWO weeks in March (or whenever it’s convenient)!
And some other celebrations for this week include: Sunday, March 7, was the start of the 1st FULL week in March (7th-13th for 2021), which celebrates Words Matter Week and Read an E-Book Week (see below)!
Tuesday, March 9, is… National Barbie Day, National Crabmeat Day, National Get Over it Day, and National Meatball Day! In honor, here is a re-share of Mom’s imitation for meatballs like Win Schuler’s:
[Our next visit is scheduled in three weeks – tune in, Monday, March 29th!]
…10 down and another 42 to go!