The Emotional Legacy of Grandmothers, the Wisest Women

February 18, 2016

My grandmothers are the wisest women. Their legacy will be passed on from generation to generation in the knowledge they’ve shared, the bond of love they’ve created, and in those smiles that tell worlds without uttering a single word.

The wisest women don’t just experience a thousand lives within each one of their years, they know more about overcoming difficulties than any self-help book. Because it’s the wisdom of courage and unconditional love that doesn’t demand things, instead it enriches and shelters.

The heritage of our past generations, of our grandmothers, is the testimony of women who have left their legacy of blood and affection. Sometimes conflicting, but always intense and decisive.

Let’s talk today of a bond woven along three generations, grandmothers, mothers and daughters, and especially about the role of the first, which often is of great emotional importance.

The invisible bond of the wisest women

It’s often said that grandmothers are the most skilled craftswomen of that knowledge that’s passed on without words.

We often find them enthralled in precious rituals, in arranging their things, in caring for our clothes, in preparing those delicious meals. In braiding their gray hair every morning, to then put it into a bun made with subtle precision.

In each of their movements we see not only years of practice but also the silence of a whole life’s emotions locked within each gesture and each small movement.

drawing- mother and daughter

Because in reality, we will never truly know all of the secrets experienced in their youth, the sorrows they wept or the disappointments they swallowed like cold river stones. Because it doesn’t matter anymore, because time has passed and their wounds have healed.

They passed on to their daughter the knowledge of their life, of bravery and truths that transcend time. The advice to be prudent in love. The wisdom that the heart must not be given away to someone who doesn’t deserve it. The teaching that there are certain sorrows it’s best to not keep silent about, and that joys that should be shown with pride. Because these are personal triumphs that make each woman beautiful.

The raising of the wisest women

Experts tend to tell us that raising children is not the same as raising grandchildren. They say grandmothers acquire a more relaxed and significant role.

mother and daughter looking at stars

Grandmothers no longer have that pressure of guiding the ins and outs of the child’s life. Grandchildren are the gifts of their blood and a renewed tribute to their lives. And those grandchildren they will love unconditionally, leaving to their children the role of guiding, of setting limits. 

Grandmothers exert the steadfastness of a tree that offers roots to their grandchildren, and the balance of an affection that knows not of storms and doesn’t see a difference between holidays and school days.

There’s always something sweet in the oven. There’s always a chair available in front of a window from which they’ll look at the sky and retell thousands of stories from the past that they always remember with delight.

The transgenerational legacy of grandmothers, of those brave women with sincere stares, speaks often of resilience. Looking at their faces we immediately sense that they have overcome things we can only imagine. That they have faced battles in which their gender was still not respected. That they learned to raise their voice when they were demanded to be silent, and that maybe they gave up many of their dreams.

Dreams that one day they projected onto us, their grandchildren. Excited hopes that nurture their hearts. But no love is more sincere than the love of these elderly women. Of these wisest women…

I don’t believe in the eternal feminine, the essence of a woman, something mystic. A woman is not born, she is made.
-Simone de Beauvoir-