the priceless conversation

This summer Cort and I did the responsible adult thing and we did some estate planning.

It was long past due that we get some sort of will in place and choose guardians for our children.

We don’t have many material things, but our children’s well-being in case of the worst happening was weighing heavily on us and it pushed us to take this step.

We chose a lawyer who specializes in Estate Planning and offered the best package for the money.  It was completely personalized to our needs.  I’ll spare you all the boring details, but if you are in the Grand Rapids area and have not done your estate planning, hit me up and I’ll give you the details if you’re interested.  We had an amazing experience.  And that is saying a lot since we were mostly talking about depressing things like being dead or incapacitated.

Anyway, at the very end of the entire process, we did something called a Priceless Conversation.  Our lawyer asked Cort and me a series of questions which we answered while a small audio recorder ran.

It started out sort of interview-ish.  We were asked to describe what our children were like right in this moment.  To talk about their personalities and their likes and dislikes.

Cort and I took turns adding things about each child.

But the conversation quickly turned into an actual conversation between me, Cort, and our children.  We were asked to talk about family, our faith, why we chose the people we did as their guardians.

By the end, we were talking about what we hoped for them in this life in the case we were not there.

Cort very confidently went first, “Always remember you are more than you think you are.”

I had never heard him say that before, but it was true.  This is something we strive so hard to instill in our boys: you are a valuable, important piece of the puzzle called life.

There were tears thinking about the boys listening to this after we are gone, but there was also some sort of reassurance that they would have our voices to hold on to.  Our words.

Our lawyer–who reads this blog–pointed out that by writing down my thoughts, my experiences as a mother, the experiences we have as a family, I am creating the rest of the chapters of the priceless conversation.

I am filling in the cracks right here on this blog.

Whether I am here until my kids are grandparents, or if I never get to meet my own grandkids, my words describing my life…OUR life…will always be here.

This is why I blog.

I would give just about anything to have diaries or letters or notes written by my grandmother who passed almost 12 years ago.  I would love to have things my own mother and father wrote.

I don’t know many of the stories of those who came before me, but I can give my stories to future generations.

Maybe they won’t care about my displeasure with the stress of always trying to do it all.  Maybe they won’t be able to relate to my depression and anxiety.  Perhaps they will find my swoony letters to my sons glib and lame.

But they will still be there.  They will be there for someone to find someday.

Maybe Eddie will marry and have kids. Maybe his wife will suffer from depression.  Maybe my words will help her get help or feel a sense of not being alone.

Maybe I will have a daughter someday who feels the pressures of trying to be everything to everyone and she will see I struggled with the same thing.

I don’t know if my words will leave a lasting impact or if they will get buried under new technology and down in the deep dark hole of the internet.

What I know is that I feel called to write these words.

To leave them for someone…hopefully my children.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a high school English teacher, college adjunct instructor, freelance writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Yes, this. I’ve had to revisit my reasons to write, and continue to do so, my blog. It’s for my children. And their children. And maybe one or two people out there who wants to read. :)

  2. This is such a huge part of why I blog. It isn’t what got me started but it plays such a huge part in why I continue to write.

  3. My memaw kept old green books that were used mainly for basic information in the past. Ledgers or journals the green covers read. In those old lined pages she wrote things down. Like a family event or a recipe. Funny thing is with the recipes she simply wrote ingredients and how to mix it all. Not how hot the stove had to be, how long to cook it all. She simply remembered all of that in her head. While it gave us input into her life, it kept a lot from us. Life has us constantly growing and changing. This generation not having the connection with our families as the last one did. It worries me for my children, who have cousins they have never met. I agree blogging is a way of keeping them in the loop of their history.

  4. Your post brought tears to my eyes this morning. I love the idea of a blog as a “priceless conversation.” I come from a family of lawyers; yours sounds like a great one. Good for you for making the time to estate plan. Good for him for making the process so meaningful.

  5. I loved it when you told me this story and I loved reading it. It is every thing behind why I blog…. well the real reason.

  6. This post brought tears to my eyes. My husband and I have been discussing doing a will and we NEED to do it. Your post makes me want to be better about blogging, especially about our family in case something ever does happen they will have my words to look back on even if I am not here. Thank you for inspiring me to be better.

  7. TheNextMartha says:

    This is so wonderful. I’m glad you blog so I can read it.

  8. Yes. This. I love being able to tell the stories of my family so that one day, when we are gone, our stories will still be out there. I don’t blog for comments or pageviews (even though they are a nice bonus). I blog so that our stories can be shared and remembered.

    And thanks for making me cry this morning. In my office. At work. Estate planning is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately.

  9. Beautiful! My father passed in 1979 and my mother last year. I have a few stories from generations before that…but precious few. On a genealogy site, I found my maternal grandmother’s passport application when she emigrated to Switzerland from the US when she was about 17, around the time of WWI. It showed her father’s name and the fact that both her parents were from Germany, which I had not known before. A blog is an excellent way to record family stories to pass down. Great job!

  10. I’ve been questioning everything lately. Blogging, Facebook, Twitter – all of it. I’ve been hurt and I don’t want my kids to be hurt. Especially the fact that strangers read about my children.

    But this put my heart at ease.

    Baby books can be lost, photos can be destroyed, videos erased. But my blog? Hopefully it will withstand it all and the girls would someday have some random musings and pictures and get to see inside my thoughts and my hopes and dreams for them.

    It’s so worth it, thank you for reaffirming that for me.

  11. I blog for the exact same reason. I started close to my one year wedding anniversary and haven’t stopped. I tease that Joseph’s wife will know my cookie recipes and not have to guess, that the kids will read all the funny weird things I think.

    Where I’m having problems lately is talking about the deeper stuff. I feel like I need to put some of the less “happy happy” things out there, some of the more controversial thoughts I have about what’s happening in our lives because I’m censoring myself. I think about my readers every time I post instead of thinking about my children and what I want them to know.

  12. what a gift we have for our children, right? It’s amazing to think about how just sharing the stories here will be part of their story later. I don’t write about the boys as much as I should…right now I want to write and so I do, but I know that in time I will start again, the funny stories, the personalities that made them Gio and Jacob to me…and I will do so as a gift to them.

    I love that you have that audio tape and this blog…I love you thinking enough of US to share your story here. I always feel so lucky to be able to read your words.

  13. Crying and realizing that I need to get the legal stuff figured out…but most of all I NEED to gather together a memory box (digital or hard-copies) of our family. I’ve toyed with the idea of doing some Vlogs of me just talking to the girls about anything. Maybe I need to go private and really spill my guts so my kids know how much they mean to me when I’m gone.

    Thank you and you are amazing.

  14. I love this so much. I haven’t really thought about my blog that way. But like you I wish I had knowledge of my family that has already passed, and things they had written – instead it is all a big blank. I like that I am providing that for the family that comes after me.

  15. Just beautiful. Your boys with be thankful someday. You are an amazing person.

  16. this is beautiful. good for you and cort for taking this step in life. and your lawyer is right, these words will here for your children in the future.

  17. Oh what I wouldn’t give to be able to read my mom’s thoughts on motherhood and parenting or current events. I SO identified with this post… I constantly think about my audience and it always comes back to Lucas. I write for Lucas. And anyone else who cares to tune in. :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I was beyond touched to recently read this post by one of my wonderful client families.  I’m not going to reproduce any of it here because it is well worth your time to read it [...]

  2. [...] Law, PLC: this practice is local to the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.  Remember my post about the Priceless Conversation and our estate planning/will creating experience?  This was the lawyer we worked with.  If you [...]