Daily Work

Random Thoughts About Finality

These last few months have moved too quickly, and too slowly at the same time. A little over a month ago, the four siblings divided up the estate. The hardest part was dealing with the memories attached to items. I mentioned something about that earlier in my post about Grammy’s chair. My parents had lots of nice stuff, but the one thing that I really wanted, I didn’t get. I figure that since I’ve lived these last 45 years without it, though, I can keep living without it, view it in my mind, and still keep the good memories.

As we divided up one set of memorable items, I was number four in a three person round. Later, one of my siblings asked if I really wanted one of those three things. They represented an important part of my childhood, but I honestly couldn’t think of a good way to use or display them. I told her that as cool as that thing might have been, I didn’t really see a way I could use it. She had mentioned a cool plan that I thought would be a much better use for it than anything I could do.

My elder sister is the executor of the estate and she’s worked hard to make sure that everything was distributed as fairly as possible. She’s also had the job of cleaning up the condo, arranging to ship items to my other sister and I. That’s what brought this to mind today: she sent me the bill of lading for the shipment of memories coming in. As we talked about some of the things that were coming, she had mentioned that while some things might look nice, they’ probably wouldn’t be too valuable. I don’t think there’s anything that I’d be willing to sell though. There wasn’t enough furniture to fulfill my grandmother’s comment, but the sentiment is true: “Hemingways don’t buy furniture, they inherit it.”

One of the responsibilities we’ll have is making a list of where this furniture, especially, will go when we die. That will happen! We don’t want there to be any confusion after we leave this earth. We have our wills for a general look at the distribution of the estate, but with this new influx of memories coming in, we’ll have to look at things again.

Another reason these thoughts have come to mind is that a friend asked us to hold a copy of their wills in case anything happens to them. They wanted to make sure that the wills would be readily available in that instance.

So, my question for you is, are you prepared for the end of life? Do you have wills made? Do you have any kind of distribution list for furniture or special items? Have you avoided making your will because you were worried that you might have to use it as soon as you made it? (I’ve heard people say things like, “As soon as I make a will, you know I’m gonna die.”) What are some suggestions you might have to make sure that your wants and wishes are known when the end of this life comes? Let me know in the comments.

Just some random thoughts that have come to mind as I thought about recent events.

Daily Work

Getting Ready for the Memorial

Yes, I’m still around. I’ve been busy with all the things I need to do to get ready for my mom’s memorial service so I haven’t taken any pictures, but I sure have looked at a lot of them! I found the hard drive that had all the pictures I really wanted – or so I thought. Very few pictures were on that hard drive and not many of my mother. Does anybody else have one of those boxes where you keep all your old pictures? You took them while things were happening. You looked at them when you got them back from the drug store after they developed them, (How do you explain THAT to people of today’s generation?) and then you threw them in a box until the next time you decided to look at them – which probably hasn’t happened yet.

There were a few pictures of my mom that I remember distinctly. I’ve seen them in the area of my box. I thought they would be cute for our memorial service. I started pulling out all the pictures from THAT box. I pulled out a couple hundred old pictures before I found any pictures of my mom. It was a lot of work going through those old pictures. Even though I didn’t find the one picture I was looking for, I found a few other fun pictures of my mom that will look nice at the memorial service. Her obituary showed up today in her local paper. My sister did a great job on the writeup and they found a picture that captures her personality better than I found so far! This picture is of my mom, my dad (on the left but you can’t see his face). my wife, and another couple who I think I know what friends they are, but I’m not sure.

My mom didn’t seek the limelight, and she wasn’t in a lot of the pictures I have of my family. I should also point out that someone has said that you need to take a lot of bad pictures before you start taking good ones. When I look at most of the pictures I have, I believe it. I have a lot of bad pictures! But this one is cute. We had a garage sale when we moved from seminary to my first pastorate. Our first child was outside with us in his playpen. People came up, trying to buy the playpen. This sign was my wife’s solution.

Still, it was a lot of fun going through those old pictures. I’m not going to say whose pictures I found, but I’m guessing that my kids will be a lot nicer to me in the days to come. Just sayin’. I also started ripping the old CDs I have. I have a wide variety of classical, Christian, and comedy CDs, and I enjoyed listening to them while I was ripping them. Then, I made my mistake. I closed down my computer when I left for church. Once I got home, it took forever to start back up and then I had technical difficulties. Eventually, I had to do a hard shutdown so I could reboot and hope that this computer will work as it’s intended, not as if it’s auditioning for Frisbee status.