What have you inherited? Inheritance is far more than what can be listed in a "last will and testament." Some of what makes up our "inheritance" becomes crystal clear when we, as parents, look at our children and see ourselves, our parents, and/or our grandparents in our children's appearance, mannerisms, interests, and personalities. For instance, I've inherited my dad's bizarre sense of humor and have passed it on to my own children. I have also inherited from both of my parents a body with the annoying ability to extract every calorie and every fat gram from every ounce of food that passes through my lips! Some of what we pass on to our children is not fully realized until our children are well into adulthood. Read on....
This past week I was strongly reminded of several other physical traits that get passed on from generation to generation in our family. Our son Mark has given blood frequently over the past ten years. His blood is highly sought after by the blood-letters since he is a universal donor, O-negative. He is fortunate not to have inherited my tendency to vasovagal episodes when giving blood, unlike our daughter Nora who shares the same issues that dear old dad grapples with. However, this past Monday, for the first time, Mark had a reaction to the chlorhexidine gluconate that is now being used to clean the arm before the needle is inserted. His was the same reaction I described in my post medical faux pas, and his arm looks every bit as bad as mine did. The doctor put him on Prednisone for a week to try to throw off the ill effects of the reaction. Poor guy!
For most of my life I have known that type 2 diabetes does not run in my family – it gallops! My great-grandmother had diabetes, as did my grandfather and his nine siblings, as does my mother whose younger sister is officially prediabetic. My extended family is far-flung and has not kept in close contact, and therefore I do not know what is happening in many of their lives. However, last week I heard about the first person I know of in my generation of my great-grandma's family who has now been diagnosed with diabetes. I figure that it's just a matter of time until I become diabetic, but I've been doing everything I can to delay the onset for as long as possible.
These two bits of news got me to thinking about what we inherit. The following jokes poke fun at different aspects of inheritances and heritage.
A little boy came home from school one day and handed his father his grade card, with nothing but D's and F's on it. Before the father had time to react, the boy asked him, "So tell me, Dad, is it heredity or environment?"
A man died with $30,000 to his name. He wanted to be remembered after he was gone, and his last request was that his wife be sure to buy a nice memorial stone. After everything was done at the funeral home and cemetery, she told her closest friend that there was none of the $30,000 left.
The friend exclaimed, "How can that be?!"
The widow said, "Well, the funeral cost me $6,500. And of course I made a donation to the church. That was $500 in my husband's honor, and I spent another $500, you know, for the wake, the food, etc. The rest went for the memorial stone he insisted on."
The friend asked, "$22,500 for the memorial stone? My word, how big is it?!"
The widow replied, "Three carats."
A math teacher posed this problem, "A wealthy man dies and leaves ten million dollars. One fifth is to go to his wife, one fifth is to go to his son, one sixth to his butler, and the rest to charity. Now, what does each one get?"
The savvy student answered, "A lawyer!"
A woman asks her husband, "Do you love me only because my father died and left me a fortune?"
"Of course not," he says. "I'd love you no matter who left you the money."
Two friends meet in the street. One looked forlorn and almost on the verge of tears. The other man said, "Hey, how come you look like your whole world caved in?"
The sad fellow said, "Well, let me tell you. Three weeks ago, an uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars."
"Well, that's sad about your uncle, but all that money is not bad either."
"Hold on, I'm just getting started. Two weeks ago, a cousin I never knew died and left me eighty-five thousand, free and clear."
"Wow, I'd like that!"
"Last week my grandfather passed away. I inherited almost a quarter of a million from him."
"Then, how come you look so glum?!"
"This week ... nothing yet!"
A highly successful business man wrote in his last will and testament: To my high school teacher, who always told me I'd never amount to anything and whom I promised to mention in my will, "Hi, Mrs. Matthews!"
Besides various physical conditions and the "stuff" found in our last will and testament, there are other important bits of heritage we pass on to our children. What are you seeking to pass on to your children that cannot be quantified in a will? Some people concentrate more on inherited conditions over which they don't have control or on a large inheritance which we've seen lately can take wings and fly away. What values and ideals are you seeking to pass on to your children? It is undeniable that more is caught than is taught.
"Do you ever daydream about what God could do with your life? ... We need Christian dreamers." - Rob Campbell
"Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt." - Herbert Hoover
Apparently the national debt has been around for quite a while if Hoover was talking about it. He would probably be shocked to know what it has become and to what dizzying heights (or depths) our current leaders are trying to send it!