This occurred some years ago, when I had more time, the firm was so much smaller, and the types of cases I handled and clients I saw were more diverse. I miss those days, but life goes on and we can’t have everything. What I have now is good too.
I don’t remember her name, or where she lived, but I do recall visiting her in her home in a trailer park.
She was old and she was dying.
She said she needed a will. So we talked.
I don’t like the word passion. I think it’s overused. To my way of thinking, the popular notion that everyone has a passion and they just need to find it, is unhelpful. Rather, I’ve come to believe that there are passionate people, and there are people who lack that quality; and then there are people who have a lot of issues or insecurities that prompts behavior which can be mistaken for passion. Not a judgment, just an observation.
So, this woman had a thing, call it a passion if you must, but her thing was collecting marbles.
She said she had a million marbles. Her home was full of them, stored in any variety of containers, and incredibly, she explained, if we pulled up the floor boards to her trailer, we would find marbles stashed underneath. She said that they had to reinforce the foundation of her trailer to support the weight of all the marbles.
We talked about her family, her estate planning objectives, and she educated me about marbles, almost all of which knowledge I have since forgotten.
I don’t recall if I went to her home a second time for the signing. But I know that at some subsequent time, an assortment of marbles arranged in a mushroom shaped jar (pictured above) was delivered to me. I was told that these marbles had been especially selected for me by the woman. Perhaps she liked my company, or perhaps I didn’t charge her for the will and she considered this my payment. That fact, I also do not recall.
I’ve kept this jar in my private work area, and have noted it many times over the years. I don’t take the marbles out and I don’t play with them, but at times just seeing the jar causes me to remember the woman in her trailer surrounded by all her marbles, and also to remember how my practice used to be, what I’ve lost and what I’ve gained.
So, Dear Ms. Marble Lady: Thanks for the marbles – and the memories that I’ve stored with them in your mushroom shaped jar.