A Wish Come True for Fourteen

When I turned 80 years old, my children, who happen to live scattered all around the country, asked me to think of something special we might do to celebrate. Was there some special gift that I would enjoy, something I had coveted for 80 years but never possessed? With little hesitation, I told them, I would love for us all to get together someplace where we might all have a really good time. They all laughed when I said this, and said, “well, there are plenty of places we could go if cost were no object.”

Do something unexpected

Fortunately, I had been blessed with a successful career and was in a position to do something unexpected.

“Well,” I told them, “if you don't mind my spending some of your inheritance, I don't see why cost should be an issue.”

So, we started brainstorming. I was blessed with three children and six grandchildren. Some of them love the outdoors, others prefer city living, where they can enjoy clubs, entertainment and gambling, while others have mobility issues.

Eventually, we hit upon the perfect solution: we would cruise Alaska's inside passage. The outdoor lovers could hike and watch wildlife to their hearts' content at the various ports of call, while the city folk could enjoy the shows and the casinos on board. There would be no stairs to climb, as most ships are totally wheelchair accessible. I told them I would pay for all of them and their spouses, including their airfare, provided that everyone come. Including spouses and my 87-year old sister that made 12 people including myself. My sister's daughter also decided to come along with her husband, saying she would pay her own way (with a little help from her mother). So we were a party of fourteen.

And boy did we live it up!

Every meal we sat around a big table and feasted like kings and queens. And every day was filled with adventures of every variety for each member of the party. As I sat at that table looking at my family all around me, I could not have possibly been happier. Yes, it was expensive, but, then I got the pleasure of seeing my children and their children enjoying some of the fruits of my success while I was still alive rather than waiting until after I was gone. This was truly a dream come true, and without a doubt the best decision I ever made.

Tess Siegel

Note: Tess passed away last November, at 88, leaving all of her children a treasure trove of wonderful memories including, of course, that wonderful trip to Alaska.


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Reader Comments (1)

Thanks for sharing Tess's story. Her insight to use the 80th birthday as a catalyst for granting this special wish for herself and loved ones is inspiring.

I jut added Alaska cruise to my bucket list and upcoming birthdays!

Best Wishes

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSam
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