It is hard to face that I now represent the older generation. I am the oldest surviving child, the oldest surviving grandchild of my mother’s family. I hope with time I will gain strength, perspective and fortitude to carry on my family’s values, traditions and cultural roots.
What a responsibility it is to be the matriarch of the family! Matriarch—the term never crossed my mind until I became an orphan at 60, when both my parents died. It is an awesome responsibility for me to make certain that the generational link is never severed.
I’m not anyone’s child anymore. There is no smooth transition from being a child in the family to becoming an orphan. One day you have a parent and the next day you don’t. As a lifelong pleaser, it’s quite a revelation to know that there is no one to approve or disappoint anymore-- only yourself. You are it!