It blows my mind to think sometimes that I owe my life to a string of mothers, hundreds and thousands of years in the past, who were once young and vibrant, who brought babies into this world in conditions I cannot imagine and cared for them and raised them and loved them.
I think about how many of them died when they were still young to illness and injury and how many more grew old and passed away, weathered and gray. Regardless of how and when they died, they are all gone, their names and graves largely lost, in places spread across the world. Still I hold my baby just like they held theirs, and even though I don’t know their names or the color of their hair or the sound of their voice as they sang lullabies or anything about them at all, I know love because of the love they showed their children, which has been passed down to me. My daughter will know the same love and will share that love with her children.
And someday, many generations from now, there will be a young woman with a baby in her arms and she will love that baby the way I loved mine and although she will not know my name or my face or the color of my eyes or the sound of my laughter, she will pass along that precious legacy, the most important one I have inherited and the most valuable one I will leave behind.