Marriage has its ups and downs, challenges and stability, joy and sadness, romantic moments, and “just everyday” happenings. We often simply react and respond to what is happening around us. Sometimes, however, we are intentional – when we purposely start a process. Planning for the future – when we are alive and when we are not – certainly counts as one of those intentional times.
My husband, Ron, and I are celebrating our 49th anniversary this month. A few years ago, we worked with an attorney and financial advisor to draft the documents we would need for the upcoming years. It was an emotional and meaningful experience. Looking back, we acknowledged those early days in our marriage during the unemployment crisis of the 70s – the situation that impacted our move to Virginia.
We reminisced about the arrival of our children and grandchildren and thought about the joy and celebrations of our family’s life. It was a time for warm fuzzies when we reflected on where we are today and how we got here when we appreciated how lucky we are. It was an intentional and intense experience as we looked at the values we each brought into our marriage and how those moral and ethical principles shaped and impacted the decisions we made in our lives as individuals and as a married couple.
Ron and I feel very lucky to have ended up in this community. We have great friends and belong to a warm and welcoming synagogue (KBH), our spiritual home for almost 40 years. Ron and I held careers and engaged in volunteer opportunities that challenged and changed us. Our children were educated at Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, my professional home for 36 years, and loved growing up in this supportive Jewish community. The Jewish agencies were there when we needed them – HAT educated our sons; Jewish Family Service was at the ready when we needed emotional support; UJFT provided partial funding when our sons went on their USY trips to Israel. We are so grateful, and we wanted to find a way to show our gratitude.
Our children (and grandchildren), indeed, are the jewels in our crown. At some point, we will no longer be here and have planned to leave most of our estate to them for their futures. However, the organizations that helped us grow and develop have futures, too. By working with our financial advisor and the professionals at the Tidewater Jewish Foundation, we will be able to ensure that the institutions and agencies who played meaningful roles in our lives will continue to do the same for others. Not only is it our way of saying thank you, but it is a way to show our heirs and our community how much we treasure our Jewish life in Tidewater. I encourage others to do the same.
For more information about Tidewater Jewish Foundation, contact Naomi Limor Sedek, president and CEO, at email@example.com or 757-965-6109.