I was talking with my sister the other day about the fun she and her husband are having in their new role taking care of their 3 year old grandchild. After a long, successful career as a realtor, she and her husband drive an hour each way to take care of this bright little boy every day.
Like most of us, over the years, they've had many ups and downs between the long hours and uneven income as a realtor and the stress of health and financial issues. We were discussing an article by Eric McWhinnie, which states that one in three Americans has nothing saved for retirement and half have less than $10,000. After our long talk, she wrote me this note which I feel is worth sharing:
"All my working life I thought I'd be able to put some excess funds away for later... later for my future grandchildren's college funds. Each paycheck I meant to have money left over but, as life does to us all, there were surprise expenses. Sadly, I never was able to save for that dream.
The vision I saw in my cartoon bubble was when my will was read in some dark attorney's office, my son and his wife would learn that I'd saved thousands of dollars for my grandson's college education. They would really be appreciative that I'd secured a solid future for their son.
That bubble burst and was replaced. Something happened and my dream came true... sort of.
My healthy, active 3 year old grandson is becoming who he will be forever. Every day, this clever child and I play, discuss life, read, count, have breakfast and lunch. I get to see him grow and be. We talk about kindness, love and nature's precious treasures, his future plans, our memories, our stories and his toys.
It occurred to me I'm seeing my dream come true in real time. My grandson won't have a financial windfall when he's 18 but he will have a memory of his old granny, who was there for him.
Just today, my son asked him who his best friend was. My grandson said, without hesitation, 'Grandma is my best friend' and took my hand so we could go play in the back yard and begin our day together. When I reflect back on today and the relationship I have with my grandson, I feel as though I am leaving riches behind. And this is really is much more valuable than money."