As I’ve gotten older and have had several relatives pass away, I’ve come to realize how short life is and the value of the time we have on earth is so temporary.
When my maternal grandfather passed away nearly 15 years ago, our family had the arduous task of going through his belongings. It was very painful to have to give up the things that reminded me of him. I didn’t want to part with those aloha shirts that he loved to wear to parties. They weren’t any brand names or fancy prints. These shirts were just the typical Sears or JCPenny types. To me, that was my grandpa.
As the years went on and my heart healed from his passing, I found it wasn’t the things that gave me comfort. The pieces of clothing eventually made its way to Goodwill for someone else to bring life to again. What I did manage to do was years before his passing, I made a tape recording of us talking story about the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. Hearing his voice and his story was so comforting. Even all the pictures I took with him were stories of the time I had with him.
I’ve lost so many dear relatives in the last several years and I miss them so much. None were rich but they all left me with rich memories that money could never buy. They taught me so many lessons in life about generosity, kindness, and happiness. Those are things a million dollars could not give anyone.
In the age of social media and selfies, I’m not one to be there posting about me. I don’t wear expensive designer clothes or drive a fancy car. Nor do I spend tons of money on any makeup or beauty products.
For a short time in college I almost got swept up into the materialism of makeup and clothes but reality hit when it came time to go to grad school and I had to foot my own bill. My folks were not wealthy so it meant working my way through school. I gave up on the outer beauty expenses and focused on what I could do to give back to my community with education.
I still believe in the power of education today and my hope is that my children will also have that opportunity to better their lives. We can talk about solving problems like climate change politically, but the real problem solvers will be those who are educated to solve them. We will turn to science to track these issues and figure out ways to do things better for the next generation.
You won’t see me spending $7939 on media opportunities ever. My white hair is showing as well as the wrinkles and age spots on my face. I’ll still go to my hair dresser who has cut my hair for the last 30 years at a local salon. I’ll still drive my 8 year old car with all the secondhand car seats in it. I’ll still shop at Times Supermarket in search of the best deals.
What you will see me doing is giving support for education and leading by example to my children in the fulfilling their maximal potential for the future. I will teach them to not fear hard work and critical thinking. I hope that they will have a sense of appreciation for the life they have and where we came from. I hope that they will always strive to do their best and give it their all in life. My journey will help to create the paths for them to follow and eventually go on their own path. I won’t need a Coach bag or a $1000 spa day to do that either.