April 24, 2020
We’ve all been impacted by the COVID-19 quarantine in our own unique way. Much has been lost and we grieve that loss. Lost jobs, funerals and weddings, missing the birth of a grandchild, vacation memories, senior proms and graduations…the list goes on and on. In my (Todd) house, this past month we were grieving the loss of my daughter’s 8th birthday party. How could we ever make this year special?
This past Saturday started the way any 8th birthday would have started for Emi – with a big bowl of Lucky Charms! But what started out as a “normal” birthday quickly moved to the abnormal as we had our family “birthday party” on Zoom instead of in person. It was fun to see our loved ones and open gifts, (my parents even made a long-distance birthday cake for her!) but well, it was on Zoom. We celebrated lunch with her favorite Chinese food and began another afternoon of togetherness at home (anyone seen the movie Groundhogs Day?)
And that’s when it happened. Emi’s friends started congregating on our front lawn with homemade birthday cards and signs. OK, to be fair, this was planned. My wife, Elise, reached out to Emi’s friends to organize this, but it was so much more than we ever expected. You see, after the crowd gathered, her Girl Scout troop organized a drive-by birthday party parade! Cars were filled with her friends and parents honking their horns and screaming “Happy Birthday” to Emi out the window. There should be a Girl Scout patch for this because they brought the energy! Neighbors came out to see the commotion and take pictures. It was quite a sight. I was choked up. This was a birthday she will never forget.
So why do I share this story? Yes, this is the Inspire section of WealthNotes and I’m hopeful this will be inspirational. But not because of what Elise or I did. It was because of the work of others that this birthday party was redeemed. It is amazing how much we can impact each other so much from 6 feet away. This season presents a unique opportunity. We all know people who are grieving loss and would be blessed by a simple act of kindness, a simple gesture to show them they are valuable to us. There’s a Girl Scout song that says “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold”. Gold is pretty valuable!
This Inspirational WealthNote was written by Todd Walter, CFP, CPA, The Joseph Group Partner and Chief Wealth Planning Officer