A Moment of Contorted Introspection

I did it! Finally. I prepared our estate papers. Wills, last wishes, directives, etc. We had been putting it off since forever. This is the sort of thing one should take care of the minute one becomes a parent, at least. But who likes to? Stupidly, one tends to think it would be like jinxing life. But, in reality, we take care of these things so our kids don’t have to go crazy later. Well, okay, more like a last ditch attempt at forcing them to do things our way. But let’s not tell them that, okay?

It wasn’t a process we enjoyed, especially when we both sat down to review the papers I had drafted and we read the words that will be told to others when we’re no longer here to do it ourselves. It got particularly difficult when the time came to discuss with the kids the documents’ provisions. At first it was somewhat morbid. “This is too depressing,” said Lauren. But then it helped when we started making light of the matter a bit. We told the kids we had included certain things in the Will that we knew would just piss them off: To our daughter we leave the drum set and lawn mower (what?!); to our son the refrigerator he’s constantly checking (really dude?) and Nelly, the cat he’s so fond of (yeah right!); to both of them our monthly household bills (no frikin’ way!), etc. etc. It got pretty funny as their responses got more and more alarming. At least WE thought so. Nothing like laughing at your kids’ expense. J

Turns out the conversation overwhelmed them a little — Danny now wants me to draft up a step by step survival manual, which Lauren thought was a great idea, adding that if we were gone tomorrow, they’d “be sooo scr—d.” Time to grow up kids! Seriously though, both our children are adults now (newly), but I suppose for them it’s one thing to be as independent as they already are in their daily lives at school, at work, and even at home (really making us feel that empty nest effect), but it’s another thing, I gather, to see themselves at this point in their lives without mom and dad, at all. Let’s pray not. It is sweet, though, to learn we are still needed so.


Anyway, going back to the Will preparation, let me warn you: having tangible evidence in front of you inferring that your days here are counted, makes your face contort. I’m not just saying that. I could almost hear the clock ticking too! Amazing. This whole estate planning thing was yet another eye-opener. I read recently that “The wealthiest places on earth are not the oil fields of the Middle East nor the diamond mines of South Africa. The wealthiest places are the cemeteries. Buried in the ground are businesses that were never formed, songs that were never sung, books that were never written, potential that was never realized, and dreams that never came to pass.” Allow me to add to that, words that were left unspoken, friendships that were never rekindled, opportunities that were never taken, and good that was left undone.


I would like to leave this earth a better person than this world has seen; having given my best, and having left nothing to bury but bones. Wow…. The preparation of our Will: quite a moment of contorted introspection.

 “For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ ‘“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’”
~ Matthew 25:42-45

“And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, you are careful and troubled about many things: But ONE THING is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
~ Luke 10:41-42

“That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.”
~ Emily Dickinson


Comments

A Moment of Contorted Introspection — 8 Comments

  1. Connie,

    You are right on! I have been procrastinating the same process for years now. The will and living will preparation has survived three “To do” lists. On the present one it is set as a thing “to do” in the future, as I didn’t even bother to place a due date on it.

    Maybe I should finally place a due date on this item. My loved ones don’t deserve to be stuck with so many decisions that I’ve been kicking down the road, like an old can.

    So what if I’m going to die? I’m actually more concerned with the manner in which I’ll go, rather than the dying itself. But that is for another day.

    Once again, thanks Connie for taking on unpleasant subjects, while putting them in perspective and even letting sense of humor leak in. We can all use a little more laughter in our lives. Dying is a natural part of living, even if it isn’t very popular.

    Take care and God Bless,

    Panchi

  2. This piece speaks to all of us and you say it so well. Having been down that road, I can relate to the anxiety, the humor, the fear and that final sense of accomplishment in closing that chapter of our lives as we move on to other less daunting tasks. Hopefully others will follow your lead.

  3. after having gone through the untimely death of my father this January, this blog hit home. I need to sit down and do the same.Too many things left to do, Thank you for posting. I will try to corral my husband to do this 🙂

  4. It’s like one of those doctor appointments you keep putting off, you know?  Let me Nike-it for you:  Just do it.

    Best to you and your family my friend.

  5. Cary, you get the paperwork done and ready, and then tell Andy you left him out of the Will entirely. He’ll sit down with you, trust me.  LOL.  xoxoxo

  6. I just finished reading your post and have to tell you, these words particularly resonated deep within me (is that redundant, because if it resonates deeply, it HAS to be within, right?)… “The wealthiest places on earth are not the oil fields of the Middle East nor the diamond mines of South Africa. The wealthiest places are the cemeteries. Buried in the ground are businesses that were never formed, songs that were never sung, books that were never written, potential that was never realized, and dreams that never came to pass.” Allow me to add to that, words that were left unspoken, friendships that were never rekindled, opportunities that were never taken, and good that was left undone.” Beautifully written post, amiga. One of your best. Needs to be included in your next volume. Your words provoke laughter and deep thoughts, not an easy feat. It reminded me of my Dad teaching me about savings, balancing a checkbook and keeping a well-supplied pantry and first aid kit. Oh, and to always, ALWAYS to buy a fresh box of guayaba (the one with jelly in the middle) and big bag of Cuban crackers at the start of hurricane  season … that one still makes me laugh, but I make sure I buy em!

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