Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

03 September 2009

Why I'm practically giddy about my will

Why yes dear readers, after having a daughter for six years, the husband & I finally got our wills drawn up and our estate in order. Excuse me, but OMG, the word estate always brings up the image of a the mansions I grew up gawking at and not the life I lead in our modest Chicago two-flat. Anywho...People who will inherit the kid have been chosen, notified and made as legal as it gets. Of course they can decline heaven forbid the time comes. Honestly that decision was one of the hardest decisions to make. And obviously it should be. AND that's all I'll say about it here.

BUT...

I'm fairly excited to plan my memorial service. I think I freaked Kim out when I tweeted that. Don't fret my friends, I'm not planning on going anywhere anytime soon. This is why I'm excited about the planning:

First - When my maternal grandmother died in 1996, I thought it was just plain weird that a priest that she most likely never met before was going to be leading a memorial service in a church she rarely attended. I love telling this story, but when he came to me for a story he might be able to tell the next day in church he asked me to tell him the most important thing she taught me. My response? "Don't ever depend on a man." He translated that into teaching her granddaughters independence and the importance of education. Um, yeah...that's what she did, but she did tell us many times to never depend on a man. I also saw my mom and her sister, my beloved Tia, argue over which casket to buy.

While the kid doesn't have a sibling to argue with, I do want to reduce the things that those I leave here have to decide and possibly argue about. When it's my time to pass over into the next realm (yes, die!) I want you all to spent more time telling stories and laughing than arguing over a casket.

Second - When my mom died in 2003, I was faced with yet another priest (actually two! We had one service in North Carolina and then one here in Chicago) who didn't know the person I just lost performing the service. If I wasn't emotionally stunted over her death and weighed down by a 6-month-fetus in my womb, I would have jumped over the front pew and smacked him the second time he called my mom Helen. Obviously not her name.

This is why I want to make as many decisions as I can before y'all have to make them. I'll make some on my own and for others I will consult with my husband and those close to me. It makes me sad to think that in the end, people who don't know me at all would be speaking about me to my loved ones. It makes me sadder to think that this reality would hurt those I love, as I felt with my grandma and mom.

While I don't think I'll broadcast all my plans, I do want to say that I really do want you all to have a good time. Laugh, cry, but mostly laugh at all the silly things I've done in life, with you and whatnot. Laugh because in the end, I do hope that all the energy I expend each day is spent to make this world a better place, a place where girls and women can laugh, play and love safely.

But remember - No Catholic Church - I was a CCD drop out and never had first communion. Not to mention that I am a tree-hugging goddess worshiper.

5 comments:

Thank you for sharing these insights and decisions. This is a serious public service announcement to nudge all of as to have this conversation with those we love. Can you comment on how it felt to actually complete this task after thinking about it for awhile?

You're still ahead of me....I've been a mama for nearly ten years. Time to get my shit in order.

B - You are welcome. it was overwhelming to stand in our lawyer's conference room and sign a zillion papers saying this and that. Who gets the kid, who gets to decide what medical treatments I get if I can't make them, if my husband can't make them, if person #2 can't make them. It makes your head spin. I'm not totally done. We need to sit down with our huge ass binder & read thru it and spot any errors. In a sense, it's never done since we can make changes anytime.

S - Ah, don't beat yourself up. But do try to get some things in order, especially if you have some specific things in mind as we do.

thank you for reminding me about this! i have an account all set up w/ our life insurance peeps, we can do it all online...we just have to, you know, do it. i have the brochure out on the counter at home so we don't forget :)