Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Birthday Present

I mentioned in a recent post how my wife and I closed on our house (a week ago). Today I celebrate my birthday. I think how my parents always tried there best to treat us fairly. As we children got older, instead of gifts, Mom and Dad would write us a check. They were always careful that each of us would get the same amount.

When each of the children got married, the spouses would get a check as well, also for the same amount. They were very careful to make sure that in-laws were treated the same as children. I was always amazed (in a positive sense) as to the way they treated extended family, including children in-law, always careful not to show any favoritism. Most other families I know make some kind of distinction between a child and that child’s spouse.

After Mom died (and Mom was the one who handled the money), Dad was thrilled to be able to carry on the tradition. Sometimes he would tell me he was going to try but he was not sure if he would be able to do it as he was concerned about his living expenses. I tried letting him know that as far as I was concerned he needed to take care of himself and his needs first. It was important to him, however, to do whatever he could to keep Mom’s minhag (tradition) alive, and even after Mom passed away, Dad always managed to be able to write a check. The Birthday checks kept coming.

Obviously, after both Mom and Dad passed away, the birthday checks (from them) stopped. Having now sold their house (which was their wish) and settled up on most of the funds between the three children (no disagreement or hard feelings, just a few additional things with their account need to be settled before we split the rest of the money, my wife and I took our portion of the money and bought a house (exactly, I know, what my parents would have wanted us to do).

The money from the house, from the estate, in effect, served as this years Birthday check. Therefore, it is important for me to take this time, this moment, and say “Thank you” to my parents for this year’s birthday gift, the house my wife and I have bought for our family.

“Mom and Dad, Thank You!”

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