We’ve had an amazing start to 2018 in the Brazos Valley. Progress is around us everywhere you look. The long-term construction project to improve Bryan’s College Avenue is giving all of us a welcome facelift. Bryan is about to celebrate the newly restored Queen Theatre downtown and everywhere we look our neighbors are sprucing up their homes for Spring.
Recently, the Texas Aggie student body likely beat last year’s record of 22,000 volunteers serving 2,400 residents with “The Big Event.” On March 24th this year, Aggies volunteered their day to give back to Bryan-College Station and it was amazing to see rows of raked leaves bagged up, new gardens planted, houses with a fresh coat of paint, and it made me so proud of our community again.
How we preserve the place where we live is important to us. Even when time is tight, it is great to go through closets and perhaps donate unused clothing and linens to a local charity who will put them to good use. You can only walk buy an unused set of golf clubs for so long. Now I don’t have that problem, but you get my point!
You might consider beginning your plans for final affairs sooner rather than later. One first step you can take is to prepare your obituary of your life while you are in perfect health. You’d be surprised how many families struggle in remembering and writing something they think is befitting their loved one’s life journey.
Writing your own life story, the way you want it, is not hard. We have a new booklet to offer you that offers a checklist and a format for how to describe your life. And, we have on our staff a professional custom tribute writer available by appointment to help you share your story. We can’t always count on our memories to be perfect in 20 or 30 years. Put your house in order, in more ways than one, this spring!
“I don’t know what to say. What would mom want me write about her life?” When the unexpected death occurs in your family, your mind may go blank with all the important information you want to share about your loved one. This happens frequently when your world turns upside down.
In a perfect world, as we become AARP card-carrying adults, it’s a reasonable expectation that we think toward the future. When you begin a career position, typically deductions are made from each paycheck to go toward a retirement account. When we get close to a retirement age, we assess the state of our finances and plan ahead for “How much longer before I can do what I want every day?” Some call that retirement; others call it “ready to take on their next career” in life, reinventing themselves.
When someone asks you to describe your career, in almost a moment, you can remember your first days on the job, your first promotion, and then all the major milestones that you had. Everyone has an exciting life story to share. When there’s no deadline, no pressure, no reason to answer the question, “What did you do in your work?” you can answer that without fail. But, add in trying to remember and recall someone else’s life milestones, and that can be a challenge.
Children of adult parents were not alive when their parents were young. They didn’t know which relatives were important in their growing-up years. They didn’t know what schools you attended for elementary, middle school, and high schools, unless you told them, often. In visiting with families, one of the thoughts shared frequently is “Oh, I know he told me that so many times. What was it he said.” I also hear, “Mom had all that on a piece of paper, written down, but I don’t know where she put it.”
Writing down precious memories and saving them in a safe place—those two steps are the key to a positive experience for your loved ones who will one day possibly be faced with 20 questions and no answers. It’s not easy for people in grief to make all the decisions they face at once. We don’t think as clearly during times of grief as we do during times when life is great. Death initiates an entirely different set of circumstances, and because you are not there for them to ask you, or to confirm your memory, the ones you leave behind can be left feeling inadequate and unprepared to know best how you would like your life to be remembered.
Aside from writing a factual obituary, your life story is of interest to so many. Even if you don’t have children of your own, you may find that your second or third cousins are fascinated with genealogy, have the fewest photographs passed on to them, and would love to know special memories of milestones in your life. There is always someone who wants to know, even if you don’t think there is.
During this season of spring cleaning, during this time of promising yourself that you won’t let your desk or closets pile up like that again, begin new with a promise that you will start making notes about the things that meant the most to you in life. Maybe you want to use a computer, a voice recorder, your phone video, or a camera. Write your life and start today! If you some help getting started, give us a call today. We have free checklists and outlines for you that might help you on a new spring path!