Livin’ a Little Sailing the Open Seas With My Family Once Again www.MonteforteLaw.com (978) 653-4092 Practical wisdom, trusted advice.
Let me preface what I’m about to write by saying that I love my job. Every day, I help families find solutions to common problems that crop up with aging, retirement, and long- term care. It’s truly a gift to be able to provide this peace of mind. That being said, the consistent work I do with probate, estate planning, and after-death plans has provided me with a well-known, albeit dark, lesson: Life is too short. As I got further into my elder law career, I began hearing stories from families about the plans their grandparents or parents had before their death. They were saving for tomorrow at the expense of living today. When my uncle passed away after a hard- fought battle with lymphoma, this lesson finally struck home. Before he died, he made his wife and children promise him they would still go on the cruise they had planned together, even though they would be going without him. I said to myself, “I can’t let that happen to me. I’m going to make sure that we’re doing stuff with the kids now.” It was a major change in the way I lived my life. It was actually my kids who suggested we go on a cruise as a family two years ago, so we set off for DisneyWorld. After a few days in the most magical place on Earth, we boarded a boat headed for the Caribbean. I will never forget that first day. We all looked at each other in disbelief that we hadn’t done this before. It was the perfect way to vacation! In addition to the fun and amenities aboard the ship, we set off to four different Caribbean islands. We would spend days lounging on the beach or afternoons on thrill-seeking adventures. These were opportunities we didn’t have back in Massachusetts, and we could really live and explore. Per our new tradition, we
booked a cruise for the following year while on this trip.
Last year, we invited my mom to come with us, and this was a special time for my children to spend with their Nana. My aunt and cousin joined us, too. They all did so many fun things together, and the kids still talk about some of Nana’s antics on the trip. There was the time she couldn’t get on the horse on the merry-go- round, or the day at the beach when the waves kept pulling my mom and my aunt back into the ocean. These are just silly little things my mom takes in stride, and my kids always point out when anything remotely reminds them of the misadventures my mom had. My wife and I are just thankful that we are no longer the only butt of their jokes! As for this year, we are going completely out of the box with another grand idea frommy kids. This August, we will fly to Rome for three days of exploring before we eventually board a boat to tour the Mediterranean. We cannot wait to see the magnificent blue coasts of this region while also exploring the country my big crazy family once called home. My kids even found a shop in Rome called Creameria Monteforte, and we’re curious to know if we have any distant relatives in the Italian ice cream business. Who knows what kind of European adventures await us this summer. Every year there are always a few things that stick out in our memories, like last year when I wore a captain’s hat to embarrass my kids while boarding the ship. (It totally worked; they were mortified.) But one thing is always certain: We may not be promised tomorrow, but we can make memories together today. -Michael Monteforte Jr.
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