DEAR HARRIETTE: I grew up as a Roman Catholic. I went to a private Catholic elementary school and to church with my family almost every Sunday. As we got older, we became less religious. There was no specific reason for this; it just happened.
Now that I am older and living on my own, I am debating if I should start going to church again. I am at a point in my life where I could use a higher power watching over me, and I think going to a church service now and again may help me. What are your thoughts on re-entering a religion, or in my case, starting to practice the religion again? -- Choosing Faith
DEAR CHOOSING FAITH: After a person enters adulthood, there comes a time when you have to choose for yourself what your religious practice will be -- if anything. What you were taught as a child supported you for a particular period, but now it’s on you. It sounds like you see the benefit of reconnecting to a Catholic community. What you may want to consider is visiting a few different churches to see which feels the most comfortable. When you think of establishing a new church home, you should pay attention to who attends and if you can see yourself planting roots there.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a grandmother to five grandkids. I live close to them, so I get to see them quite often, which I love. As I get older, I am thinking about what I will leave them with when I pass away. I don’t want to seem morbid or that I'm talking about the tragedy of death, but I do want to see what your take is on leaving this world with a great legacy. I want my grandkids to appreciate everything they have in life, work hard, and not take anything for granted. I hope my sons -- their parents -- have taught them well, but I want to make sure I leave them with some words of wisdom. Did you have a good relationship with your grandparents? What is the one thing you are grateful for that your grandparents gave you? -- Grandma's Legacy, Detroit
DEAR GRANDMA’S LEGACY: It’s wonderful that you are thinking ahead about what you want your grandchildren to remember about you to enhance their lives.
I was very close to my maternal grandmother. More than the things that she gave me, I appreciated her wisdom. When she was in her 80s, she would sit cross-legged on the floor and play jacks with me. She had so much energy and love for me; I appreciated that then and now.
My grandmother was a domestic worker, and I remember one time scolding her and telling her to stop working. My family could take care of her, and she was already old. I said some mean things about her employer. She looked me in the eye and said, “Don’t worry about me. I love my work, and I love the people I work for. When it comes time for you to work, you must love what you do and the people you work with.” I never forgot that.
I recommend that you write notes to your grandchildren sharing your wisdom and specific guidance for each one of them. They will treasure those notes. Beyond that, show them how to live by your actions and the way you engage them.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)