“None of us would be here without our mothers and most of us would not be who we are without their constant care, love and support”
May is for mothers. Mothers to be, mothers in minivans and SUVs, State University mothers, mothers of the bride, or even grandmothers. None of us would be here without our mothers and most of us would not be who we are without their constant care, love and support. How can we adequately honor someone who has given so much of herself to ensure we are who we should be? Does a day, a month, a year or even a lifetime give us enough time to tell her she is loved as much? Does she really need to know? Would she stop constantly caring for, loving and supporting us? She would not, but she still needs to hear it. A small way to honor our mothers is to value who they are and who they helped us become.
In estate planning, the legal documents that we prepare are necessary and important but are also merely a byproduct of what we do to help you preserve your legacy for your children and grandchildren. Most likely your family will not cherish your signed and notarized Revocable Living Trust. Your Living Will and Advanced Directives won’t evoke pleasant memories of your children’s childhood. Your family won’t gather together with their loved ones around the holidays and reminisce over your Last Will and Testament. What is your family’s legacy? Is it a set of legal documents? Is it a life insurance policy? Is your success and wealth measured in dollar or does it run deeper? What will be the lasting memory your family carries with them when you are inevitably gone?
Sit down with your mother or the mother of your children. Ask her what she thinks is important for you or your children to know. Don’t just ask her but record her invaluable answers. Write them down or record the conversation. Give her a fraction of the time she has given to you. Show her that she is the source of all the things that are good and significant in your lives. Have her tell you about her children. If she had to pick one word to describe each of them, what would it be? Ask her what she sees as each child’s greatest strength and what her proudest moment is with each child. How does she want her children to be remember? If there is one thing she could tell her children on their 40th birthday, what would it be? What brings joy to her life and what does she think will help her family find joy in theirs.
Let her tell you why she does what she does. Let her tell you stories of when you or your children were growing up, stories you may not remember or remember differently. Let her tell you the story of your lives from her point of view, the point of view that shaped yours. After you have spent the time with her, give her a journal so she can continue to record her wisdom and memories. When you are done, and if you carry this gift forward, you will have a great Mother’s Day memory that will last for generations to come!