What will your legacy be?
I went to a good funeral yesterday. I can’t believe I just wrote the words “good” and “funeral” in the same sentence, but it really was. It was for Ashley’s great aunt on her mom’s side whose name was Carrie Holcomb. She and her husband of over 60 years, named John, lived in Chatsworth.
During the service, the preacher did a fantastic job. He related Carrie to the woman in Proverbs 31 with many anecdotes. One of the things he emphasized was just how great a mom and grandmother she was.
Both her children and grandchildren were very close to her. And as the preacher told stories about times like when she would bundle the grandkids up and play for 8 hours straight in the snow, the family chuckled reliving those moments.
He also told a story of her making up imaginary tales about being in the army for the youngest grandson. You see, John was in the army. And the youngest boy was too little to hear the war stories that the oldest grandson was hearing from his grandfather. So, to make sure the youngest didn’t feel left out, Carrie invented some stories of her own. And they were so elaborate that the youngest didn’t know they were made up until he was grown.
Everyone just laughed at this and said, “That was Carrie.” Ashley whispered to me that Aunt Carrie had a kind look in her eyes that was marked with a mischievous twinkle. She was always trying to make things exciting and better for people.
As we walked outside from the eulogy, I asked the youngest grandson if she really told him those stories. He smiled and said with enthusiasm, “Yeah! They were great!”
I couldn’t help but marvel at the relationship he and his brother had with his grandmother. I also thought to myself that I hope people remember me in the way Carrie’s family was remembering her.
You see, as I watched the family reliving her memories with love, smiles and laughter, I could see the legacy that Carrie had left behind.
As real estate investors, we tend to think about leaving a legacy for our kids. We do things like make sure we have successor beneficiaries in place in our land trusts so that our properties will pass seamlessly to our heirs. We teach our kids about compounding interest and the value of passive income. But all that stuff tends to be more of a financially focused legacy.
Merriam-Webster does define legacy as a gift by will especially of money or personal property. But the next definition says a legacy is something transmitted by or received from an ancestor. And I don’t know about you, but I want my kids and grandkids to receive more from me than just some property. I want to transmit a legacy like Carrie’s.
Carrie had an amazing relationship with her children and a special bond with her grandchildren. She left them a legacy of happiness, love and care that is embodied in the memories they made together. And I am envious of that, but in a good way.
You see, I lived 6 hours away from my grandparents when I was a kid — which means they weren’t part of my everyday life.
And one of the reasons I chose real estate investing was because it provides me the freedom to be present in my children’s everyday life. I get to come home and have lunch with them most every day. I can and do take them to work with me. I don’t have to worry about missing holidays or special events. I get to spend time with my kids on my terms. And I plan to keep that going once the grandkids get here.
Money is nothing. Having a special bond with your children and grandchildren filled with adventures and loving memories — that’s what matters. That’s the legacy. And the financial freedom in real estate investing will allow me to leave it. And one day, I hope they talk about me like they talk about Aunt Carrie.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.