On Writing a Will – Kerry E.B. Black
Although it will sound like an oxymoron, I discovered a will is a living document. My latest health scare spurred me to create a will. I have children to protect somehow, after all, and although I’ve little to provide for them monetarily, I at least need to offer some small guidance for once I’ve shed this mortal coil and left them to their own devices.
As I wrote, I realized how little of monetary value I would leave behind. I am a woeful provider. I’ve worked most of my life, yet I have little to show for the efforts. I own a flooding house where the once-beautiful yard is now reduced to a swamp. The cars are not in my name. I own little jewelry, and what I have is not worth much money. Certainly, nobody should fight over my meager possessions.
However, wills are not only about “stuff” but also who will tend to the well-being of my beloved children upon my passing. Most of the kids are grown or nearly so, but my S-bear is eternally young of mind and will always need guidance and protection. And M-man has yet to reach double digits worth of age.
Also, when a person passes, the survivors make funeral arrangements. Instead of burdening them with decisions, I’ve laid out my plan. I secured cemetery plots several years ago after my last dance with the “big C,” and I’ll place their deeds with the other necessary documents to ease this transition for my survivors. I do not mean to sound morbid, but death is an eventual inevitability. My hope is by lessening this responsibility, I’ll comfort my family.
Back to my opening statement, though. Despite this gloomy letter, I remain an optimist. Oh, I know we all face the grave, but I intend to live each day, celebrating every beautiful aspect. I wrote this document, this will, while my youngest daughter remains a minor at seventeen. She will grow in independence and grace, and her mother’s passing will not require matters of guardianship within a year. I am an optimist, and my hope gushes as unabated as the flood that overtakes my yard. Thus I know I will find a safe, dry home, perhaps with delightful Victorian architecture and a garden worth strolling, and move my family there. I pray someday soon my work efforts will yield a great reward, and my family will not face struggles to pay bills and provide food the way their mother does. Time changes situations, and perhaps my dreams will find success.
Whether I birthed the children or they came to me through marriage, from the moment I met them, I sheltered them in my heart. I pray for their well-being and success. I toil to provide little amusements for their pleasure, simply because I cherish their joy. I never believed I’d find myself with such limited resources. My plans included college funds and nest eggs, hope chests and great starts. Instead, I look at a stark set of papers and realize how short of my target the arrow of my intentions fell. With this realization, I reload from an aging quiver, take aim, and prepare the next shot. When it lands on the bullseye, I’ll revamp this will to reflect the changed circumstances.
Indeed, a will is a living document as long as the writer strives for her family’s betterment.
To read more of Kerry’s letters, click here.
Reblogged this on Allusionary Assembly and commented:
Written for the One Year of Letters Project.