While this blog maintains the theme of legacy building, it recognizes the times that we are in with the COVID 19 virus. I have been in New Jersey because my sister was hospitalized with this virus and I am her durable power of attorney, so I had to be close to the hospital. She also has cats (I am not a cat person) and enough plants to fill a jungle (just figuratively speaking). It speaks to why you should consider pairing down external things. A story for another day. She is now out of the hospital but still has a cough and is now on oxygen. She is not ready to go back to living on her own.
This experience points to what I have talked about before and that is making sure that your legal documents are up to date. That also means that if you have been in a hospital, make sure that the hospital has up to date information. We found out the hard way when I tried to find out information on my sister and was informed that her ex-husband was listed as the contact person. She has been divorced for a long time. While she is friendly with her ex husband and so am I, he called several times when she was hospitalized, he should not be making decisions for her and no longer even lives in the area. Luckily, my sister could call the records department and get this information changed, once we found this out. I had the durable power of attorney paperwork with me in case it was needed but it was scary to think that the hospital would have contacted an ex-husband for medical decisions on my sister. This is the problem when family cannot be with patients in the hospital which is the case with this virus.
Also, I saw a news story that if you have an advanced directive, you should probably review it because of the COVID 19 virus. Ventilator care has been a standard treatment for many people who have been hospitalized but many advanced directives specifically state that they don’t want to be placed on a ventilator. It was also recommended that these revisions be done with an attorney so that the language is crafted correctly.
Now on to legacy building. I was just informed of the name of the person who received my scholarship this year at California University of Pennsylvania. It is always wonderful to know that someone is benefiting from my efforts at legacy building.
One of my passions is looking into the African American history of the region where I am from, Fayette County, Pa. I have only captured a small amount of the history, but I want people to know our story and how African Americans have contributed to the region. I have been working with a local church which was a station on the Underground Railroad to house my collection permanently. Until that can happen, I developed a traveling museum of Fayette County Pennsylvania African American history. A few of the pictures are noted below.
I also would encourage any of you that are senior citizens and have children to pass on their baby pictures and other pictures you have of them. We hold on to these pictures and then when we pass away, many times those pictures are lost. I have perhaps two pictures of me as a baby and even then I was several months old. There are no baby pictures of my mother that I have found. The youngest picture was her as a teenager. I have no such pictures of my dad. In these days we take pictures digitally so in many ways they are easier to pass on as you can just send them to your children. My birthday gift to my grandson is going to be to make a photo album of the pictures I have of him from when he was hours old until his second birthday. I want him to know how much his Bibi (granmother in Swahili) loves him. I am in some of those pictures so I want him to see me as part of my legacy to him. It is clear that I want to be remembered.