I suppose it is because as Orthodox Christians our congregation just celebrated Pascha yesterday. I have been thinking about death… specifically the future death of our mother. She was 87 on April 27th, is in robust health and there does not appear to be any danger of her imminent demise! Nonetheless I, as the oldest of her five children, have spoken often with her about it, of what she wants and doesn’t want. Daddy died of a brain tumor in 1980 so Mom has been a widow now for 32 years. How incredibly quickly the years flow! (click any photo for larger size)
One of the regrets that she has is that she will not be able to leave us kids with any monetary inheritance. Our family has always had to struggle to make ends meet although not because of laziness. At one time my father worked two full-time jobs while Mom worked a full-time job in Brooklyn, New York with a very long daily commute. After school I had to get home and watch the other four kids and try to prepare a supper for the whole family. We never ate supper until everyone was home, no matter how hungry anyone might be!
My family experience has grown in me what I have come to realize is a very Hawaiian understanding about what is important: there may be no money but there is “Us”. Mom and Dad have given us kids to each other. We are the inheritance that they leave to us! Mom and Dad created an ʻOhana which will live far beyond them in us kids, in the grandchildren, nieces and nephews, cousins… we are well on our way to becoming a tribe! Through Mom and Dad’s faithfulness to each other and to us, the five are now “We.” That has a value that can neither be priced nor purchased but which can only be passed onward.