Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Legacy In Stories by Heidi Chiavaroli

Heidi Chiavaroli
As my family mourns the loss of my great-grandmother this week, I’m dwelling a bit on legacies.

My great-grandmother left us with memories of a beautiful life. She was a caring wife, mother, daughter, and sister. She was even one of the first women recognized to wear—gasp—pants in the workplace!

My great-grandmother was also an artist. She painted gorgeous pictures. After she passed, it became incredibly important that I possess one of these creations. Whatever painting I receive will have a small piece of my great-grandmother hidden in each brushstroke. At one moment in time, the painting was her sole focus, her creative passion. In having one of her paintings, I will have a precious bit of my grandmother’s life.

I often think about the kind of legacy I want to leave. Above all, I want to be known as a woman who loved well. A woman who loved her Creator and Savior, a woman who loved her husband, her kids, her family, and her friends. But it doesn’t have to end there. As a writer, I can leave another type of legacy.

A legacy of stories.

One day my great-granddaughter could read my stories and in doing so, possess a piece of me. I think that’s one of the reasons I’m so adamant about writing real, about writing truth, even if it takes some ugliness to get there.

I want to leave my own legacy, told in stories, that can reveal a truth about myself, and a truth bigger than myself.

How awesome an opportunity us writers have!

What kind of legacy in stories do you want to leave?

Heidi Chiavaroli writes History Woven in Grace. She is a wife, mother, disciple, and grace-clinger. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and has finaled in the Genesis contest and My Book Therapy’s Frasier contest.


  1. That's an amazing legacy, Heidi! It sounds like she left a huge hole to fill. But I think that you are already creating your own amazing legacy, Heidi.

    My prayers for and sympathy to you and your family. Hugs!

  2. Heidi, What a wonderful honor your post is to your great-grandmother. I identify with you. My mom was an artist. I am surrounded by her in her paintings hanging in almost every room in our house. My children have some of them, too. I look up from being immersed in a marketing chore and see one of her paintings. I smile and dive into the task again. Thanks for your post, Heidi.

    1. Beautiful, Zoe! Love the idea of surrounding ourselves with beautiful legacies, especially when we are pushing through something that may be a challenge for us.

  3. Beautiful, Heidi! I'm so sorry about your great-grandmother, but how fortunate you were to have so many years with her. If she hadn't made such an impact on your life, her paintings would not mean nearly as much to you.

    I hadn't thought about my writing as a family legacy thing. No pressure there! :)

    1. lol Sandy. No pressure at all. I know who you are comes out in your writing, and that is a blessing (and a legacy) in itself. ;)

  4. A sweet and heart-touching post, Heidi. I still have several quilts that I made with one of my grandmothers and that time spent working on them will always be fond memories - as well as many others. She was a Christian woman, and her admiration for missionaries made a lasting impression on me. I often think about what kind of legacy I'm leaving for my children and grandchildren, and my writing is definitely included in the mix. Isn't it exciting to think that we can make an impact on generations ahead!

    1. I love to quilt, Dawn--I think that's a beautiful memory, as is your grandmother's life. You're right, it is exciting!

  5. Heidi, your great-grandmother sounds like an amazing woman, and what a beautiful tribute to her. I'm so sorry for your loss. Hope you find comfort in your treasured memories of her.

    And I'm with Sandy on the pressure. Phew! :)


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