The issue of impending death arises early in my new novel CeeGee’s Gift. When CeeGee has a Knowing, an event that reveals knowledge of the future, she blurts out to her new friend Mr. Tindale that the things he worries about don’t matter. When he challenges what she means by this, she replies, “What I mean is, if you have something you need to do, well, you’d best do it—and soon. Fact is, you don’t have much time, Mr. Tindale. So, you best get yourself ready. Your time is real short.”
At first, he is angry at her for invading his privacy and acting as if she knows so much, but then he realizes she has given him a great gift. He has a window to plan for an inevitable future. He decides he will do exactly as she advises, get his affairs in order.
Mr. Tindale begins by ordering a custom-made oak coffin and adding the lining himself. Before he passes on a few months later he has settled his estate, and with these assets he is able to fund a remodel of the town library, provide books to stock the shelves, pay for CeeGee’s college tuition until graduation, and start a scholarship fund at the high school. Other citizens are inspired by his generosity and host a fundraiser to add to the fund, which is named after Mr. Tindale and his beloved wife, Maggie May.
Many of us resist this planning, we don’t want to think about death. But we also give up the opportunity to create our own legacy. It may not be financial gifts that we leave, but thoughtful letters to loved ones, or hosting a special event while the opportunity is still there. It may be offering forgiveness or simply saying, ‘I love you’. One does not have to be wealthy to leave a legacy, but one does have to be brave enough to face an inevitable fate—in advance. Are you?in