Monday, September 21, 2020
A Letter of Love & Legacy
By Wendy Gladney 
Published August 2, 2018

Wendy Gladney 

When I was told that being a grandparent has a totally different effect on you than being a parent, I couldn’t even fathom the thought.

After all, everyone who knows me knows how close I am to my children and that I love being a mother. I would hear grandparents talking about their grandchildren and even showing pictures almost to a point of nauseam. Well, I have definitely become one of those grandmothers, aka, “Oma.” When my son and daughter-in-love were trying to figure out what my grandson, Grayson, would call me, my son suggested “Oma,” which means grandmother in German (since I am half German). I agree that it’s unique but, ultimately, it will depend on what my grandson decides to say and how he pronounces it that will become what I answer to. He’s not even speaking yet, but the ball is in his court.

Grayson turns one year old today and in this short period of time, this little human has entered into my space and has turned my whole world upside down and I love it! I have changed things in my home; I’m not as fanatical about certain things (paint on the wall, car seats, etc.) that used to be a bone of contention when it came to other people’s children (including my own). But yet this little one has full run of everything. Now don’t get me wrong, I will have rules that he must follow and I will make sure he is disciplined and develops into a kind and responsible person. But what I also know is that it will take a village. Families have become more spread out and therefore it is important for us to surround our little ones with people who will love and cherish them and help them along their journey. My heart aches when I continue to hear about African Americans that live their lives in fear just because of the color of their skin. Take Nia Wilson, for example; a young African American girl who was murdered senselessly by a White male while waiting for public transportation (BART) in Oakland, Ca. As Anne Hathaway so boldly pointed out, Nia is more than a “hashtag” and we must say her name. I respect and appreciate people who use their platforms as a voice for good. Thank you, Anne, for taking a stand!


So, my letter to my loved one and legacy, my grandson, Grayson James Gladney, is that I wish and pray for you (and every child) to grow up in a world that is free from such hate, racism and violence. I hope to instill in you the fact that, in spite of the actions of a few, there are still a lot of good people in this world. I want you to know that you belong; not only in “the room” of any place you desire to go, but that you also have the power to create the room, if not the entire building, that will invite others in to share your space. I hope to instill in you the power to forgive others and to understand that forgiving others does not make you weak, but makes you strong and allows you to be a beacon in what will sometimes appear to be a very dark world. Believe in yourself as I believe in you. Know you are loved and that you were created on purpose and for a purpose that only God has ordained. I want you to live and live out loud.

To everyone reading this article, I encourage you to love your family, mend broken fences, spread love and peace where others try to build walls. Speak up and let your voice be heard and make a difference in the circle and community that only you can change. Together we can make a difference and ultimately leave a positive legacy letter to those we love!

Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit and Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at

Categories: Family | Lifestyle | Opinion | Wendy Gladney
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