Legacy Lives On

My mother was an incredible influence in my young life. She was my best friend and confidant. I lost her to cancer when my own two girls were very, very young. My husband’s mother, my mother-in-love, was also a huge influence in my life. She was my champion, my advisor and supporter with children and marriage. Then, very unexpectedly, she passed away. I soon came to realize that I was now the matriarch of the family. How can that be? At a tender young adult age, I am not this. I cannot do this. I cannot be this. I don’t know everything I need to know.

With the opportunity of Girls on the Run program entering my life a this point, I was able to witness how the program proves that girls can empower themselves, each other, and the community around them. Not only was the GOTR helping my girls learn about themselves and relationships with peers and the community through fitness, but also it revealed to me that I am capable, built from the foundation of the women to raised me, to recognize my responsibility and find strength through others. So, years later, here I am. I can do this. I can be this. I am this. I am me.

I was infatuated with my mother’s hand as a child. I loved the movements and her touch. Legacy passes on….

I trace the lines

Following my fingers along

The roads that have been travelled
That stand out in marked definition,
The tributaries of veins, sinuously roll
The routes of life coursing.
I try memorize the pattern,

Of the hill and valleys

An atlas of reminiscence, a life well-lived.
The timeworn scars, small and large shine,
A burn from the oven, a slip from a knife.
The movements that her legacy leaves
Through holding, braiding and stroking
Mother to daughter, daughter to mother.
Now my hands look like hers.

And they read the lines

My own daughters, on my lap,
Tracing my veiny adventures as roads
With endless fascination

On where the roads will lead them.

Girls on the Run International and Say It Forward are committed to the empowerment of girls everywhere. We believe that every girl has an important story to share – a story of determination and perseverance, a story that can inspire others to overcome the self-limiting beliefs that keep them from reaching their fullest potential. We are also committed to empowering the women who invest their time and energy in these girls.

We invite you to share your story at Say It Forward and to keep in touch with us via Twitter and FacebookGirls on the Run International Facebook and Twitter. All stories written by girls are shared with the permission of a parent or guardian. Girls’ first names only are posted with their stories.