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What is Your Testament?

by Guest Blogger Chris Putnam

I awoke this morning to complete at least twenty-five tasks before passing out this evening fully exhausted. Somewhere I will fit in a passing kiss for my wife and try to graze my kids with a peck on the forehead or a sideways hug before sending them to the shower and finally to bed. The routine will end after a few reminders and maybe even a few threats to get them to sleep. To credit my wife and I, we do read to our three-year-old before the battle begins to get him asleep every night.

Many of the people reading this blog know I am a funeral director and many have sat with me describing a loved one who recently died. Over the last couple decades, I have heard “he was a hard worker” or “she was dedicated to her job or civic organization” countless times. When I follow up with a second question about hobbies or experiences of which the individual was proud, I am met with a “it was always about work” or “he/she did not fish, travel, hunt, read, etc.” Nothing! Loved ones cannot think of anything except how serious non-family commitments were prioritized over internal family commitments.

The prompt to write this blog post is inspired by two women in different situations. Top Chef contestant and star Fatima Ali announced this week she only has a year to live with or without new chemotherapy treatment. Ali, 29, recently wrote “I was looking forward to being 30, flirty and thriving. Guess I have to step it up on the flirting. I have no time to lose.” She continues by describing a desperate need to “overload my senses in the coming months, … and smothering my family, giving them the time that I so selfishly guarded before.”

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations announced Nikki Haley her resignation this week.  She offered no reason for the life change other than the perspective that government officials must know “when it’s time to step aside.” Clues to her future are known only by her, but she told President Trump about six months ago she wanted to take a break. Haley referred to herself in the Oval Office resignation interview as “a private citizen.”

One can only speculation how long Haley’s break will last, as the political door remains open. My wish for Haley is to live like she is dying without the dying part. To “overload her senses” as Ali described. My hope for Ali is a treatment or miracle will happen and this all turns out to be a lesson on life perspectives and what is truly important.

Both women are teachers coaching us on how to use time.  What will they say about you? What is your testament? The regret of being self-absorbed and selfish with time is short-lived only when an end of time is in sight.  However, being generous with time and living for yourself, friends, and loved ones is a gift that is priceless.  Maybe a description I hear about you is “he knew when it was time to step aside” or “she was flirty and thriving when 30 and overloaded her senses with every breath.”

©2018 Putnam Funeral Home and Crematory, LLC

Funeral Photography and Videography

One expects to see a professional photographer or videographer at a Wedding, Gala, or Quinceañera, but what about a funeral?  While not as common, many families are discovering that having a professional photographer or videographer at their service or celebration of life is absolutely worth it.  From personal experience I know that one of the greatest gifts my aunt gave me was bringing a professional photographer to my grandmother’s service.  My baby was only a few weeks old and had yet to be photographed, plus, this was probably going to be the last time my extended family was going to be in one place.  We were able to take photographs of generations, siblings, cousins, and friends and capture a moment in time that would have otherwise passed us by.  The photographer was able to catch some incredibly moving moments that were not posed, and in my eyes, priceless.

At the same time, it is important for a photographer or videographer to recognize boundaries, especially if photographing or taping the actual service. Families will need to establish ground rules in advance.  For example, no flash, remain unobtrusive, be sensitive and use good judgement.

If you are interested in a professional photographer for your service, Jenna Petty has experience working with Putnam families and comes highly recommended.  She is an experienced event photographer who is very sensitive to the needs of her clients and families and able to capture those priceless moments.  She can be reached via her website www.jennapetty.com or email at jenna@jennapetty.com.

Our clients also find video tributes, live service feeds, and a funeral video priceless as it helps to connect families separated by distance and gives the opportunity to share a life changing event with the younger generation when they grow up.

Putnam also recommends Matt Turner Video Services for your videography needs.  He can be reached via his website at mattturnervideo.com or via email at mattturnervideo@gmail.com.

 

©2018 Putnam Funeral Home and Crematory, LLC

Event – Adding Transparency to the Funeral Industry

CelesteCare of Horseshoe Bay is hosting a community wide event – Adding Transparency to the Funeral Industry – Providing the information you need to be a better informed consumer – on Thursday, September 7 at 6pm at 26409 East Highway 71, Horseshoe Bay, Texas 78657.  Chris and Jessamyn Putnam have been invited to speak about the difference between prearranging vs. preneed; planning, ordering, and recording your personal affairs; documenting the memories of your loved one to share; and learning how Life Insurance impacts Medicaid.  This seminar is part of Putnam’s community service initiatives as we believe that a well-informed funeral home customer is an empowered funeral home customer.  All highland lakes residents are invited to attend (This includes, but is not limited to, residents of Marble Falls, Horseshoe Bay, Spicewood, Burnet, Bertram, Granite Shoals, Tow, Llano, Kingsland, Cottonwood Shores, Meadowlakes, Buchanan Dam, Highland Haven, Bluffton, Smithwick, etc.)