One of the most difficult things to do after a loved one passes is to take care of their financial affairs. My father was meticulous in record-keeping and planning which alleviated some of the stress – all files were clearly marked along with contacts in the event of his death. Although grateful for his organization, going through each file felt like an invasion of privacy.
All but one account was handled by telephone and I was able to keep my emotions in check … then I walked into his bank. I sat down with one of the account representatives and when I handed him my father’s death certificate he sighed heavily and said, “Harold was one of our favorite customers.” He left his desk to retrieve some paperwork and the manager walked in with a coin and mismarked dollar bill. “Your father gave me this a few months ago, and I have it displayed on my desk. He was always bringing in tokens of appreciation including boxes of Aplets and Cotlets. He made our day every time he came in, he will be missed.” I lost it. The tears flowed as I pictured him grinning while handing out his treasures. In the background, I heard the tellers moaning, “Oh, no,” and the tears continued.
Many others shared the same sentiments, from doctor offices, the donut shop, his pedicure place – even people in our neighborhood he met while on his daily walks…people I had never met came to our door offering their condolences and said how much they enjoyed visiting with him, hearing about his life adventures and appreciated the candy he always brought along to share.
Shannon Alder once said, “Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they tell about you.” What a wonderful legacy my dad left…one of selflessness, kindness and love.
I’m sure when he entered Heaven, God smiled and said, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”