By Becky Pazkowski

I recently attended the Positive Aging Conference hosted by the Institute for the Ages here in Sarasota.  One of the sessions was entitled “Give It Forward” and the description talked about legacy giving.  Being in the business I am, I figured that I was going to learn something new about making financial gifts from your estate plans.  However, what the talk was really about was legacy giving in the sense of intangibles.  It really inspired me to think about the legacy gifts people have made to me, and how the most meaningful gifts we receive are given unintentionally by the donor.

We were to think about a legacy gift we have been left with and how it impacted our life.  Mine was from my mom, who died in 2010, at the age of 73.  She gave me some of the greatest gifts ever, without even knowing she did . . . how to be a good listener and a good mom.  Both of these two gifts have had a profound impact on my life.

The speakers left us with the three universal deathbed questions that I would like to share with you.  I know, it sounds depressing, but it wasn’t.  If we can find it within ourselves to think about these three things while we are busy living our lives, would we perhaps live a more purposeful life?  I leave you with these things to think about:

♦             Have I given and received love?

♦             Have I lived my life, rather than someone else’s?

♦             Have I left the world a better place than I found it?