Recently as I was looking through my father’s old law office safe, I discovered
a 71 year old letter written from my grandfather to my father. A letter I never knew existed. A letter that held enough value to my father that he had put it in a place for safekeeping. I practiced law with my father for ten years and he had never mentioned it to me. Perhaps he’d forgotten about it. Perhaps during the course of the ensuing years, its impact had lessened.
In any event, when I read it I understood on a deeper level why our practicing law together meant so much to my father. By the time he’d begun practicing law, his own father had very debilitating Parkinson’s disease. Over the years, my dad had told me that although he had been able to rely on his father’s wisdom and counsel, they had never been able to cement their law practice by regularly being in the same office.
I never knew my grandfather as he died before I was born, and the letter he wrote to my Dad preceded my birth by many a year. However, finding it explained to me why I think my father so treasured our having worked together. It was a sort of coming full circle of something he’d wanted and never had before. So much of life seems to be the unwrapping of gifts we never expected to receive.
When I work with clients who are just beginning to journey down a path borne of disappointment, I do so with the knowledge that there will be gifts yet to unwrap. There are events we can predict in life, and many things we cannot. However, when clients are able to structure a path of their own making and restructure their families in thoughtful ways, they can remain alert to the treasures they are likely to discover and know that unlikely gems may happily appear as well.