Over the weekend, we had an extended family meeting with my local sisters, all of our kids, my parents, my grandmother, my sister Michelle, and her family who joined us via Facetime. My parents have been saving for many years to take all of us on a trip of a lifetime together. This year, all twenty one of us will be making our way across the Atlantic together on a pilgrimage of sorts to visit Israel, where the story of our faith is rooted. It’s a humbling legacy gift, birthed from a dream, built on much sacrifice and hard work.
It’s an experience that will live on in our family for generations to come.
Before our first meeting to discuss our trip plans, we got a note from my parents saying that my Grandma Hyde wanted to attend the meeting because she had “a gift of a lifetime” to share with us. Sadly, Grandma won’t be able to go with us on the trip, but she had something she wanted to shared. Not knowing what her gift would be, we all circled up to listen to her story. She told us that she’d been saving up, little by little, to give us each a gift that she felt would be meaningful to enrich our lives, whatever we chose to do with it. She said:
“I planned this long before I knew you were going to Israel.”
Then she passed out envelopes to each of us with our names written on them and a large sum of cash inside each one. The great grandkids were all astonished by the amount and all lined up to hug her one by one and show their gratitude, while Grandma wiped her tears. Then all the “big kids”, the grown up grandkids, got their turn for hugs, tears and words of gratitude. I was filming the whole thing and felt my own tears falling.
Because I knew the planning, hard work and sacrifice contained in those envelopes.
I instantly remembered all the garage sales Grandma held at her house. Working hard for every nickel, dime and quarter she earned. I remembered she and Grandpa driving cars across the country to earn money that I thought was to supplement their social security. I remember all the coupons clipped and sales shopped to buy groceries and household items. This was no gift of luxury.
It was a gift of pure love.
It was a selfless, incredibly thoughtful, and well-planned gift, none of us will ever forget. It wasn’t “by chance” that she lived to be her age and have extra money to give away. It was by choice. She chose to save, years in advance, with the intention to sacrifice whatever it took to be able to make that gift.
True “luck” is about the choices people make.
Both the big choices and the small ones.
What are the choices you’re making today that will live on as a gift of love?
What are you planning for today that will be your gift of tomorrow?
It’s not about money.
It’s about love.
to more love,
p.s. Join us in 2 weeks at “You’re in Luck GNO” where we’ll have a little fun at the casino tables, but leave with a deeper understanding of what it means to make your own luck.