I don’t generally write about the details of my personal life in this blog or on social media but I couldn’t shake the thoughts today. I’ve attended 4 funerals in 6 weeks. Five funerals in total this year. This is so foreign to me at this stage in my life. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s I lost many young friends to gun violence. Those days are long over and I’ve come to expect people to live well into their 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.
I lost my maternal grandmother a week ago which means I only have one grandparent left – my maternal grandfather. My maternal grandparents were married 64 years. I lost my paternal grandmother five years ago and my paternal grandfather a little over a year ago. I am grateful for the time I got to spend with each of my grandparents and know that I am truly blessed that my daughter also had the privilege of getting to know her great-grandparents.
It is wonderful to have a large extended family! If I had lost my parents to illness or accident as a child I know for a fact that someone in my family would have stepped up to be my legal guardian. Foster care would not have been an option. I have pictures that document years of love and fun. I have memories of encouraging conversations and the teaching of life lessons.
I know my history. I can trace my family tree back at least 3 generations on both sides. I’ve heard great stories from my grandparents and great aunts and great uncles. I even have fond memories of my paternal great-grandparents. I understand and accept myself in part because I can see parts of me in each of them. I embrace my identity fully. I am living a legacy. #GRATEFUL
Nicki Sanders, MSW, Chief Visionary Officer
The Teen Toolbox utilizes youth portfolio development and civic engagement and academic empowerment strategies to help teens set goals for life after high school and create a road map to reach those goals through its PACKAGED FOR SUCCESS™ Programs. We are committed to supporting and raising awareness about the needs and potential of teenagers in the foster care system.
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