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The Gift of Time

Legally Speaking

The Gift of Time

Written by Becky Cholewka

Time. It is a diminishing resource each of us have.

Sometimes we think we have a lot of it, which is why many of us procrastinate. “I can get to that later,” is a common phrase each of us thinks many times over. Sometimes we think we don’t have enough of it, which is why we rush around to fit numerous activities into our hectic and over-scheduled day.

When I was a senior in high-school, my sister Stacey and I travelled to Cleveland to spend Christmas with my dad. We hadn’t spent Christmas together at my dad’s since I was 7 years old when we flew to Alaska to be with him. My parents were divorced when I was three and I only saw my dad for about a week every other year.

That week, the Cleveland Browns miraculously were going to be playing in a Wild Card playoff game. We begged my dad to go. Dad called my mom, complaining about how much money it would cost to take us. My mom gave him some sage advice. “You better start making memories, Joe. You don’t know how many times you will ever be together.”

So dad splurged on three tickets. His fiancée Tammy would stay home so the three of us could go. We packed tuna fish sandwiches and a thermos of hot tea to drink so we didn’t need to pay for concessions. We took the train downtown to save on parking.

I clearly remember walking through Terminal Tower in downtown Cleveland, my face painted to match the Dawg Pound, so excited to be with my sister and my dad for my very first professional football game! It was Christmas Eve day and we were playing the Houston Oilers. There were thousands of us walking down to the stadium. We were all chanting, singing, and having a great time.

In the stadium we were only a few rows from the top. I remember freezing as the cold wind blew off Lake Erie. I remember screaming until I had a sore throat and how delicious those tuna fish sandwiches tasted. I remember we lost 24-23 (of course we did, it was the Browns!)

We went home after the game and told Tammy all about it. Then we stayed up past midnight to open all our gifts. It was the best day. It was also the last Christmas I spent with my dad.  He died 12.5 months later.

Most of us don’t appreciate that our time can be the most significant resource we can give to another. We forget that just being present for someone can be the best present of all.

There is no better time to remember that than during the holidays.

If you think it is time to stop procrastinating and start protecting your family, Cholewka Law can help. We provide estate planning, probate, and guardianship/conservatorship services. Please contact us at 480-497-3770 to schedule a conversation or visit for information and videos.

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