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The Present: November 17

Our church recently sponsored three seminars—actually the same seminar offered at three different times on these subjects:

  • Serious illness
  • Hospitalization
  • Incapacity
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
  • Understanding insurance
  • Writing a will
  • Funeral or memorial planning
  • Paying last expenses
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Finances
  • Legacy gifts and generosity
  • Expressing your love and concern for those people and causes dear to you.
  • Making the best use of time

These are personal, legal, and financial matters that should be thought about in advance in order to have the best possible outcome when and if they present themselves….and most will present themselves at some time…most certainly those subjects concerned with dying.

I was so pleased that our church encouraged people to learn more about these subjects and then act accordingly. The seminars were given by a gentleman named Stan Craig, a former pastor and financial planner who handled his own brother’s illness and death poorly but is using what he learned to help others.

I have a similar story and want to use what I have learned to help others also, but where Stan Craig is offering seminars, books and CD’s, I am offering a health club for seniors instead.

On a related subject because of the changes in our life due to the death of a loved one, our cousin Karlana, her husband Andy, and their 5 year old son came to visit this past Saturday all the way from Paoli, IN, for the purpose of giving us a break by babysitting Nolan and Jack. What a wonderful Christian act of sacrifice and love. Lawrence and I had five hours to do with as we pleased. We looked at the Broadway property together this time (I had viewed it by myself last week) and we saw our therapist and we had a cup of coffee at a fun downtown Lexington bistro.

Our daughter in law did not have a will, nor did she have life insurance. Because of the lack of a will, her oldest son went to live somewhere away from his brothers (not sure about the legal ramifications when a there is a divorce before a death and the custody of a child, etc.), who miss him terribly. Because of a lack of life insurance, the family is financially stressed. Fortunately, our son qualifies for child care assistance from the state, but he never seems to have enough money for diapers and wipies, food, gas, clothes, and other things children need. Lawrence and I cannot help much because we are living on half of our previous income while trying to get the business off the ground. We set up a non-profit for donations for the boys, but haven’t done much to promote it. Currently, the boys need waterproof mattress pads for their twin beds, a bulletin board for their art work and such, a potty training seat for Nolan, long underwear for Jack, and a radio/CD player for them to listen to as they are going to sleep at night (to hopefully improve the process, which is currently difficult). If you would like to make a donation, simply make a check out to: Gridley Children’s Foundation, and send it in c/o Chase Bank, 1500 Leestown Road, Lexington, KY 40511.

On a totally unrelated subject, my garden club meeting was last week and I almost thought about missing it because my babysitting plans fell through. I called the hostess and she graciously allowed me to bring the boys with me. I really could not participate in the meeting though until my son came by to pick up the boys on his way home from work at about 7:30. The garden club meetings are such a bright spot in my life. The presenting member began by asking us to share our most precious holiday traditions that we practice now or in the past. It was so interesting learning about the many different ways we celebrate, most of which seemed to be rooted in our cultural heritage.

Then the presenter shared her holiday traditions: Making centerpieces and other decorations out of evergreens, dried leaves, fruits, and other natural materials. She said she did not set out to make them after the Williamsburg decorating style, but they just turned out that way, perhaps from her German heritage. Her centerpiece looked so similar to this:

But she used more gold, silver and copper spray painted gourds and leaves, which made it look like a more modern and glitzy Williamsburg style. I loved it and plan to use her tips and tricks as I decorate for the holidays this year. I always wait until the weekend after Thanksgiving to decorate my house. What about you? What are your traditions? I would love to hear them if you would like to share.

May you and yours be blessed this week before the Thanksgiving week. Where has this year gone?

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