No, I do not mean that literally – “How to Make Lemonade.” If you have your mouth watering over the idea of a tall glass of freshly squeezed lemonade, then you will have to find a recipe elsewhere.
This article will highlight how my mother made lemonade out of difficult circumstances, and celebrate her legacy on the tenth anniversary of her passing.
Legacies are not just about real estate, vintage automobiles, charitable giving and priceless heirlooms. Your legacy should include at a minimum, these basic estate planning documents: Will, Durable Power of Attorney, and Advance Healthcare Directive. Further, as a part of your legacy, check your beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, bank accounts, IRAs and 401(k)s.
What’s in a legacy? That is a loaded question – with no easy answer.
3 Essentials of my Mother’s Legacy:
A. Learning is a Part of Life:
My mother read all the time. It was not unusual for her to read two books at the same time. No, not one in each hand, but one on the nightstand and one in her hand. She would rotate them as she tired of one subject (history, biography, etc.). Her love of reading continues to inspire me. In no way can I match her thirst for reading, but I do try to keep a ready supply of books (audio, paperback, digital) on hand so that I am never without something good to read.
B. Travel is Good for the Soul:
International, stateside and local travels were all important to my mother. She would visit a destination and before she returned home, her schedule was already filling up with plans of her next adventure. The travel bug bit me as well. The excitement of a new place that promises a different food menu or local custom is a huge part of what I inherited from her.
C. How to make Lemonade:
First, you must know that my mother spent the last twenty years of her life confined to wheelchair as a paraplegic. Unable to use her legs to walk, run or jump as the result of a serious illness. Now that you have that information, imagine her love of reading and travel.
Second, in spite of her challenges, she continued to smile and give back to others. She spent her days actively engaged as a community activist, victims’ rights champion and disability rights advocate.
Lastly, this is the main ingredient of my mother’s legacy. I have found making something good out of sour lemons is a valuable tool to have in life. I believe my siblings would agree, that this is the most valuable item in her legacy.
Work ethic, morals, values and other ideals are the things that make up a person’s legacy as well. Thus, do not forget to take a look at the other items, such as “How to Make Lemonade.”
Aquanetta J. Betts is an attorney, speaker and blogger. She is licensed in the District of Columbia and Maryland. For more information visit www.abettslaw.com or connect with her on Twitter @AquanettaBetts.
This article is for informational purposes only and not intended to provide legal advice. Copyright 2016. Aquanetta J. Betts, JD. All Rights Reserved.