A Legacy of Celebration, Nurture and Adventure

Sep 14, 2023

Reflecting on a legacy left behind

It’s been almost 3 years since my mom passed away. It is so hard to believe it has been that long and not long at all at the same time. There are pictures of her all over my home. Of her laughing, of her with my daughter, her pride and joy and of her with me, her baby girl. Every time I pass one of those photographs it gets me thinking about her legacy. Not what she physically left behind but who she truly was in life, who she impacted and the parts of her that are living on.

My mom knew how to CELEBRATE

She had a gift for turning every holiday into pure magic and with her at the helm every magical creature came to life in a big way. Her creative side sparkled with every celebration, the decorations, the crafts, the home sewn costumes, the themed food, the smallest of details…she went the extra mile.  You have never seen a better class mom, especially on Halloween.  Her witch costume was so good I didn’t even recognize her one year.  It is worth mentioning, that she was the ONLY class parent that dressed in costume…that extra mile in action.

Every birthday was celebrated like it was your very first one.  On the day my daughter was born she brought a homemade birthday cake to the hospital along with a frosting pen to add the name once she was born. (We kept the gender a surprise)  Every New Year’s Eve was a party that never ever went without noisemakers at midnight even if all we had were pots, pans and wooden spoons.

My mom knew that even small simple celebrations could make big impact and often led to lifelong memories. She invested her time and effort celebrating the people she loved. It was lovely. It was magical.

If you were sick my mom was who you would want by your side

She was the ultimate caregiver, she nurtured like no other. I remember as a child on those dreaded sick days, thankfully they didn’t happen often, my mom was the VERY BEST! We didn’t have a television in our living room, it was in the basement “rec room”…anyone else grow up in the 80’s?

On sick days however a television was hauled into the living room, a cozy nest of blankets and pillows and all the stuffed animals was built on the couch, homemade chicken soup was prepared and there always seemed to be an endless supply of popsicles.  I felt so loved, so safe, so taken care of. She was gentle. She was kind. She was fully present. As a mother myself now I know the juggling act, the behind the scenes work and the exhaustion it takes to show up like that. She took good care of her people.

My mom had an Adventurous side to her

Not many had the pleasure to see this side of her. I was fortunate enough to have caught some glimpses along the way but I remember her stories about her life before marriage and motherhood. My mom was a flight attendant for a short period of time in her twenties. She lit up telling me about the traveling she did. The people she met, the places she saw…her favorite being Greece. I made a promise to get there one day in her honor!

While her big adventurous travel days were behind her she certainly kept that spark alive in other ways. She was my sidekick as a child on trips to Disneyland, drives to the ocean, backyard camping and fishing at the lake. She could bait a hook and clean a lake trout better than anyone…especially between my dad and I.

Her legacy leveled up

It was quite the honor to witness my mom become a grandma. I thought she gave her all to me as a child but boy was I mistaken. The pure love and joy that she found in her role as Grandma was unmatched. She was absolutely miraculous. Those two bonded over crafting and sewing and cooking. They celebrated every time they were together, so you can imagine the holiday magic.

My mom nurtured my sweet baby and took care of her with such gentleness and kindness, exactly like she did for me. She planned a special end of summer trip for just the two of them the year my daughter started kindergarten. They were full of laughter and adventure. While there ended up being only a handful of trips before she left us those memories will last a lifetime in my daughters heart and the stories live on in mine.


There are parts of all of us that are our truest selves

These are the things that make us who we are. That make an impact to those around us. Those parts are our legacies that will live on in the people that had the opportunity to really know us.
Even after these years without my mom, I know her legacy of Celebration, Nurture and Adventure live on. I see them every single day . In me. In my daughter. In my husband. In my home. That is impact. That is what a legacy is all about.

Mom, I am honored to be your daughter.

I am honored to carry on your legacy of Celebration, Nurture and Adventure with a whole lot of confetti poppers and noisemakers along the way!  A bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.  I Love you.

Until next time friends. I cherish you and I am celebrating you!


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Melissa Garcia is the founder of Roots to Wings Collective, a 300-hour certified yoga teacher, and an eternal optimist. Melissa holds space for connection, creativity, and celebration, through movement, meditation, energy work, and intentional rituals. She believes in magic and that there is no such thing as too much glitter!

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