Legacy is never understood until a true legacy has lived before you and passes on their godly heritage for the generations that continue.
True legacy is what lives on beyond your life.
Legacy is those seeds you’ve sown into others that reproduce a harvest of life.
Legacy is your life’s open book that:
We will not hide from our descendants;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done.
Psalm 78:4 NIV
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…..
Proverbs 13:22 NKJV
Our family received a great inheritance like none other, bequeathed from the legacy of our matriarch, our beloved mother, our grandmother, great grandmother, wife, aunt, sister, friend and child of God.
It was this woman who bestowed to a generation of heirs a rich treasure from her life’s
Will and Testament:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV
As seen through the eyes of her family.
Barbara’s legacy story began long before she left us on May 16, 2012. Our mother lived a simple life with her husband Flor and five handsome sons. Barbara loved God more than life itself and His reflection mirrored in her humming, music and “toil on her knees in prayer” that her sons grew up to serve Jesus.
Barbara’s mission field was her humble home and kitchen. Her tireless message of service was preached from the pulpit of her stove. Barbara’s affection for God and family was baked in the walls of every room she called home. You never left empty handed after a meal at Barbara’s table, as every guest went home carrying a take-out container full of peace, love and joy.
Barbara always shined a bright light on the faithfulness of God in His pursuit of those five boys that called her mom. Barbara introduced five boys to a loving God, but five boys had to make their own decision to serve Him individually with a surrendered heart.
Attributed most to Barbara’s legacy were her calloused knees caused from those long suffering hours spent in fervent prayer for her sons.
Today, Barbara’s five sons faithfully serve Jesus and are now married to wives with the same passion for God.
Her children rise up and call her blessed…Proverbs 31:28
While every mother smiles at the mere mention of her children’s name, nothing brings out the delight of a woman than being in the presence of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Barbara broke every rule when it came to those little feet running around her house, and she loved it.
She brought out her hidden cookies when parents weren’t looking.
She kept a bottle handy just in case your toddler still wanted to be a baby.
Overfeeding began at your child’s birth.
A mystery Kool-Aid concoction was a favorite among the grandchildren. A red ring around their mouths was evidence that grandma brought out her sugary drink again.
Going to grandma Barbara’s meant going home with a tummy ache, but every Sunday after church the families were back for more.
Barbara’s Grandchildren and their families
Though not catching us off guard due to our mother’s illness, May 16, 2012 buckled a family to their knees in heartache when Jesus called his daughter home to Himself.
While rejoicing as our mother takes residence in her new heavenly home, we grieve that the door of our mother’s earthly casa goes unanswered when we knock on Sunday afternoons for lunch.
Love from many who called her mom like Aaron Washington, “God’s grace be with our family at this trying hour…we will miss our beloved ….and we look to the Lord and his ever abiding presence to comfort our hearts as we celebrate your home going.” I will always love you…”mom”.
Barbara’s Home Going Celebration was attended by Pastor’s from multitudes of neighboring churches and the pews for the service were occupied to full capacity. Barbara’s life impacted a community beyond her knowledge or understanding.
Barbara’s legacy continues from those that she touched in her simple service to God.
Barbara would have been thrilled and in charge of the kitchen to cook her own celebration dinner.
Being a woman whose “fountain of worship” quenched those parched and thirsty for Jesus, Barbara would have loved to assume her seat at the drums during the music service of her celebration.
In Barbara’s honor, a drum roll played to commemorate the life that simply loved Jesus, whose love for a Savior spilled onto the laps of so many seated at her kitchen table.
Nothing stirred the hearts of those in celebration attendance than during the song your son and granddaughter sang imagining your intimate time postured before Jesus, laying your crown at his lovely feet as written about:
….They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things…..”
Revelation 4:10-11 NIV
Video Courtesy of Brad Ebert
Song: The King of Who I Am by Lulu Roman and Russ Taff
Taking a silent seat in the service and listening to her children and grandchildren speak, Barbara would have been so proud.
Her son Michael preached about his mother’s trust in Jesus, as she always thanked Him for the mountains and the valleys, for the problems only God could solve as revealed in her favorite song:
Through it All
Sang by Andrae Crouch
I thank God for the mountains,
And I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms
He brought me through;
For if I’d never had a problem
I wouldn’t know that He could solve them,
I’d never know what faith in God could do.
Through it all, through it all,
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
I’ve learned to trust in God;
Through it all, through it all,
I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.
Granddaughter Angie celebrated the last conversation Barbara ever shared on this earth, putting her grandmother’s legacy on display through her last moments this side of heaven.
As I stand here before you, grandpa, sons, daughters, grandchildren, great grandchildren, aunts, uncles, and friends. All I see is the legacy and inheritance my grandmother left behind. For without her obedience to serve the Lord, none of us would be here today. Look to your right. Look to your left. Know that right now, there is a glimpse of grandma in each one of us.
In your sadness, we are truly blessed. For God blessed us with a “woman of God” that knew how to be a servant. Don’t get me wrong, grandma was from Brooklyn, NY, so if she really wanted to, she could take you out!! But thank God he gave her wisdom in knowing how to keep the servant’s heart front and center.
“Grandma, are you thirsty? Can I get you a drink of water?” She replied, “Yes”, as she nodded her head. As she began to drink, something began to take place in her spirit that brought her a breath and a sigh of peace.
That night, I went to the Word of God for comfort and found, Revelation 21:6-7 AMP..And He [further] said to me, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty, I [Myself] will give water without price from the fountain (springs) of the Water of Life. He who is victorious, shall inherit all of these things, and I will be God to her and she shall be My daughter.”
My heart was so grieved when I came to realize this was my last conversation with my grandma.
Barbara’s earthly body was honored with reverence and carried to her final resting place by sons and grandsons that were once carried by her.
Saying one final good-by until we all meet again in the presence of Jesus, hearts still gush from the overflow of loss from such a beautiful woman we all knew as mother in our own way.
Many tributes were left on Facebook to re-tell the life of one who left this life for one better in heaven. These are just a few:
…My 4 year old Christian saw me and said, “Mommy why are you so sad? (with a concern look in his eyes)” I replied, ” I miss my grandma.” He shook his head, “Yes” and said, “But we will see her again.” Smiled, gave me a kiss and said, “You’re the best mommy in the world!” Thank you Jesus for comforting me through this time even through my little boy. Raquel Alicea
Truly she left a legacy in her walk with God. She truly mirrored what it means to look like a Child of God. A true servant’s heart, wonderful mother, grandmother, and friend. We lost someone great today but Heaven gained a wonderful person today. How do we honor her? We honor her by knowing that this will not be the last time that we see her and if we do not have a relationship with God and don’t walk in that assurance of having God as our personal Lord and Savior then Family, Friends, WAKE UP make that choice to follow in her footsteps and carry on her legacy and know that you will see her one day in Heaven. Buela thank you for adopting me into your family and looking past all of my mistakes and showing me unconditional love. Raquel Alicea
The legacy that you have left behind was AMAZING. Now it is our job to keep that continuing. We are at peace because we know you are in a much better place but most importantly you’re with our Father – The Lord. I hope that you are proud of us as you look down. We have some big shoes to fill. The drum-line will continue in your Honor. We love you so much! Until we meet again….Nathan/Kristie Alicea
ALICEA CELEBRATION…Nothing brings God more delight than receiving His Honor thru the honor of those that call Him Lord. Mother n Law, we honor you today for the being that WITNESS of Christ in our family. Your knees were hardened for the hours you spent prostrate before God, lifting your praise and needs of your children before Him…We honor you this day and consider it great pain to say good-by, yet pure joy knowing you have already seen Jesus. Lori A. Alicea
The Mother’s Rose
By Lori A. Alicea
When God created all the earth,
And all the flowers he chose.
I wonder if a mother’s love,
Inspired a perfect rose.
The beauty of its royal red,
It’s color, meaning love.
The thought expressing God’s intent,
What mother’s are made of.
The friendship of the yellow rose,
When shared between just two.
The bond created when her love,
Is recognized by you.
Though beauty comes with thistle thorns,
A price of mother’s call.
The times that hurt a mother’s heart,
She says it’s worth it all.
When crushed a rose it will not die,
Forget what eyes might see.
A mother’s fragrance still remains,
A rose of potpourri.
But sad the day when mother leaves,
Without, your garden grows.
Yet God delights to welcome in,
His newest, sweetest rose.
A message Barbara preached with her life:
Barbara, if you could see us now.
Life goes on, and we think of you daily.
We rejoice where you are, but just in case you were wondering about us:
Hold onto your halo mom. Your Cubbies finally won the World Series.
We all cheered in the stands to honor your lifetime commitment and belief in your favorite baseball team the Cubs.
There have been two weddings since May 16, 2012, one being your beloved son who waited a lifetime for his beautiful bride.
And just look at all your new heirs, your great-grandchildren that have been born and share in your legacy.
Wishing even more,
IF WE COULD SEE YOU NOW
WALKING THE STREETS OF GOLD WITH JESUS!
Barbara, your legacy lives on in your family.
You left your hand-print behind,
And we sense your impact in the lives who
CALL YOU MOM
In whatever manner that is.
We love and miss you dearly.
THE HAND-PRINT THAT YOU LEAVE
by Lori A. Alicea
We live our lives from year to year,
The moments that we share.
Yet give no thought to what we leave,
We most, are unaware.
We touch each other with our love,
And time, though can’t conceive.
There is a lasting memory,
That hand-print that you leave.
2 thoughts on “LEAVING A LEGACY By Lori A Alicea”
Oh Lori, job well done! You took the time to celebrate your mother-in-law and honor your entire family in such a beautiful way. Love the photos and poetry. They are perfectly placed exclamation points as you pour out your sentiments for this celebrated woman of God.
I will never forget the impression she made on my own mother. We were visiting her Spanish church in East Chicago when the children’s choir from HIS orphanage, El Salvador were visiting. First impression was the many elderly on their knees (on the hard floor) praying fervently before the service. Next was the surprise we had when Barbara took her seat behind the drums and let it go in worship. My mother spoke of her on multiple occasions. She was struck by her boldness, freedom and passion. To God be the glory!
Thank you Fran for your kind words. Your encouragement means alot.