The Power of a Good Story!
Have you ever sat to think about your legacy? What do you want to be known for after you pass on? What life lesson do you want to pass along to those you leave behind? Sometimes just “telling” factual information has an effect – but packaging those facts in the wrapper of a story takes on a life of its own – like St. Patrick’s 4-leaf clover story.
Legend has it that St. Patrick taught his parishioners about the Holy Trinity by holding up a green 4-leaf clover. The other lesson here is how a good parable or interesting story can last hundreds of years.
I suspect that St. Patrick had no idea that his sermon that day about the Holy Trinity and 4-leaf clovers would become his legacy. I doubt he had a clue that it would be remembered hundreds of years later. Granted, the only connection that many folks have between green and St. Patrick’s day is that they are supposed to wear green this day (or get pinched!). AND some somehow believe that they are supposed to consume large quantities of green beer this day! But there are a few who did a little deeper – like we are today.
Last time, we talked about having discussions with your kids about what you would want if you became incapacitated before you died. The emphasis was on staying at home and all of the variations thereof. Today we’re going to talk just a bit about family assistance. This is where the power of a good story comes into play.
Crafting Your Legacy
If you become incapacitated before you die, how much will your family be willing or able to help? No doubt they love you a lot – but they are very busy! They have jobs, kids or grandkids and a million things on their plate already. So if you start needing care, how much time can the kids realistically contribute? AND (in the perfect world) what would you want them to contribute?
Before you sit down with your family and have the Mom Centered Family Meeting, think for a bit about what you would want your life to look like down the road. We covered some of the options last time, but
- Would you want to stay at home with family assistance?
- Would you want non-medical caregivers in your home?
- Or, would you want some type of facility care?
Think through what your life would look like under each of these scenarios. Also, spend a few minutes thinking about what the lives of your adult kids would look like under each of the above scenarios.
Then craft your story.
Your Legacy is Your Story
Your legacy should be pass along your values and vision. What do you think would be best for you and your family? If your health fails (which is impossible to control) what is the best going forward option for the entire family?
We have seen many families pull together in the last few years of the life of their declining parent. For the first time in their adult lives, many of these adult kids work together to accomplish a common purpose. Working together can help families feel a sense of accomplishment and even joy! Rather than feeling that working together to assist with the care of a declining parent is some sort of burden, I feel that many families see this time as a major blessing.
We wish you the best as you work to craft your “values and vision” story that will pass along your best life lessons to your family. Part of this story should be how you and your family could best live out the final years of your life. This journey can make a huge difference for your whole family.
Best wishes to you and your family as you plan your legacy and craft your future vision.
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Thank You for being a Caregiver for Your Loved One – you are making a huge difference in their life!