The Gift of Time & Relationship During Coronavirus

Gift of Time
During this time of Coronavirus and social separation, I am reminded of the importance of relationships and the precious gift of time with those we love.


Jackie, my 97 year-old grandmother, is in a care facility just 25 minutes up the road. Yet, due to the threat of Coronavirus, we can’t visit or comfort our dear “Ba”.


Born in 1923, just two years after Franklin D. Roosevelt was stricken with Polio, my grandmother was born into a world which was faced with this frightening virus. As she entered young adulthood, she married and was blessed with two daughters who, because of my grandfather “Pa’s” engagement in World War II, she raised mainly on her own. All the while the spread of this deadly virus increased.


Interestingly, in all my years with Ba, I never heard her reflect upon what I am sure must have been some pretty challenging and difficult times which she encountered when she was young. Somehow, some way she got through it, and we will tool.

Oh, how I wish I could learn what she recalls, and hear her perspective on these current times.

Kathi’s Story

Kathi, a treasured friend, lost her life to breast cancer. As her husband Jeff shared with me via a text just a couple hours before she passed, “we have been so blessed for the 3+ years [we were able to share together]” since the time of her initial diagnosis. Jeff understood the gift of time.  


As Kathi neared the end of her journey, most of her family were prevented from being with her due to the threat of Coronavirus. Her friends are delayed in celebrating Kathi’s life, and largely prevented from personally comforting her treasured family during this difficult time.


I wish I could have shared with Kathi how much she meant to us as she neared the end of her life. Nevertheless, I am recovering from my grief by taking the time to recall the good times spent with Kathi and her family, and writing of the incredible woman she was, and the positive impact which she had on our lives. Having lost my father 5 ½ years ago, I can tell you that such memories and thoughts will be an invaluable gift to Kathi’s husband and her dear family.

A Time of Uncertainty

“Cindy”, a widow and client, has two daughters who both happen to be pregnant with her first grandchildren. Yet, this normally special time has turned to a time of uncertainty and concern due to Coronavirus.


What are we to do during this “different” time of separation?


I suggest we use this time wisely and invest in recalling “who” is important to us, and share “why”.

Leave Nothing Unsaid

Through the years I have had the pleasure of getting to know Jody Noland through her monthly and always enlightening emails. Jody has graciously allowed us to share, free of any cost or obligation, her “Leave Nothing Unsaid” workbook. 


I have personally found this to be an extremely useful guide which provides an easy to follow, step-by-step guide to writing letters of love and affirmation to those who matter most.  As Jody calls it, “A Step-by-Step Guide to writing words that matter forever”. Find more resources from Jody. 


As trustee we can tell you from experience how important, valuable and lasting such words can be. Let’s use this time wisely to reflect, to share, and to again become focused upon that which is truly important. As I am sure my “Ba” would share from her life experience, we’ll get through this.  A cure to the virus will be found. The financial markets will rebound. And, after 97 years of a wonderful life bookended by two pandemics, the time invested, and memories created with those who we get to do life with will ultimately matter most. 


The question is not whether or when our time will come to an end, but rather how will we use our time.



Steve Marken

Founding Principal, Trustee

Helen McAllister

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