My grandmother, Phyllis, was the keeper of the family history. She kept a neatly organized closet packed with boxes of fine china, silver table settings, war medals, and so on. She had a fascinating story for every object. Her stories brought the objects to life again.
A tall stack of Kodak photos printed on shiny rectangular cards of a family of four sits stapled together with the corresponding holiday letter written with care by “mom” each year. She probably spent a lot of time crafting the ubiquitous yearly holiday letter and thought about what her intended message would be to those she sent cards to each December.
The words paint a picture of accomplishments, changes, and reflections of the ups and downs of a year in a family’s life.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. The holiday shopping “to do” list gets longer every day. Nationwide, families are getting ready to host relatives and friends for a holiday that centers on expressing gratitude and sharing a traditional meal and family traditions. How do you pass down your holiday traditions?
“All the dates and degrees and statistics don’t matter," she said. “What matters is the life itself.” “How so?” “Well, I always began by asking, ‘Tell me about your loved one.’ Eventually, we always got the truth.”
This passage was written by Ann Hood, author of “The Obituary Writer” an empathetic story of love and loss, human nature, and eventual death.
On September 22, at the age of 90, Yogi Berra passed away leaving behind a legacy known nationwide. He was a Hall of Famer and one of baseball's finest catchers. Whether or not you liked or even watched baseball, you knew that Yogi was considered “an American treasure”.
Millions of students have headed back to school recently to begin their fall semester in various grade levels and schools across the nation. Back to school shopping demands the attention of parents assisting their children in getting prepared for another school year.
Where are you hiding assets? Are they stored away in a locked trunk in your attic? Are they located in boxes stacked on the back wall of your moldy basement? Or did you pile your valuable art and antiques in an off–site storage unit located two towns over from your house?
What does Dad want? Have you asked? How about Mom? Does anyone know what her wishes are? Has anyone asked her? And is anyone really listening to what they are saying?
Life can turn on a dime. Incapacity happens. Wouldn't it be better to take some time now to get prepared? There is no time like the present to ask questions and get some answers. It’s never too late until it really is too late!
If you think you have run out of things to talk about with your adult kids, how about a worthwhile chat about incapacity and death? That’s certainly going to get their attention and a photo worthy reaction…usually a wide-eyed look that says “it’s time to head for the hills”!
We need, however, to ensure that our next of kin are fully prepared and understand what we want should we become incapacitated or die.
Dr. Jennifer Brokaw recently suggested to colleague Barbara Bates Sedoric that the LastingMatters audience would appreciate her "Wonderful Life" Blog Post.
Barb agrees and here it is: