3 years ago today was the day my mother left us. I honestly can’t believe it has been 3 years already.
I was going through my old blog posts from before (I am still trying to figure out how to port over my content and publishing it with the date it was published) where I blogged about my mom’s fight with lung cancer and my dad’s fight with depression.
I remember working part-time in June and finally took a leave from work in July 2011 and took advantage of the 6 weeks compassionate heath benefits through EI ($421 / week after taxes).
I remember making her meals and trying out new recipes, combing her hair and braiding her hair. I was glad I had an opportunity to do a “role-reversal” with her in a sense that she took care of me when I was a baby and I took care of her when she got sick.
I still regret not being able to go on our last family vacation because the cost of the trip was about $1000 and I didn’t want to spend that $1000. If I knew that it would have been our last family trip, I would have spent that bloody $1000.
Lessons I’ve Learned Throughout: (Some PF related, some not so much)
#1: The TWO Week Waiting Period for EI Compassionate Care
When I took the EI benefit, I didn’t realize that there was a 2 week waiting period where I didn’t get paid. I know that If you are taking Compassionate Leave, make sure you budget in the 2 week non-paid waiting period.
#2: Cashable Investments
I was super glad I had savings back then to be able to take the time off to be a caretaker to my mom. I also made a mistake of putting all my savings in GIC and mutual funds. When I need to dip into my savings while I was on leave, I couldn’t because my cash was stuck in my mutual funds and GICs before it matures.
#3: Spend the Money on Making Memories
Since I missed out the last opportunity to go on the last family trip with my family, I now try my best not to miss out on opportunities to spend time making memories with friends and family. I am not saying that I am going to blow my money to go on a $2000 cruise with my friends and family every chance I get. What I meant is that if it was a trip where I know it will be difficult to get everyone to ever go again, I will try my best to go only if the cost of the trip is not going to be a ridiculous amount.
#4: Always treasure & be grateful of the time you get to spend with your loved ones
I find that I have mellowed out a bit. I use to schedule every bit of my time to the minute and tried to control everything I do, but after dealing with my mom and dad’s sickness, I realize that there are things that are out of my control. I cannot make everything happen the way I wanted. I have gone a lot more with the flow.
#5: I Know Who My True Friends Are
I am blessed by a group of supportive friends who had been by my side. They’ve lent me their ears and shoulders whenever I needed them. They’ve pretty much became my secondary family and I feel very lucky and blessed to have them.
If you knew that a trip would be the last family trip you will ever have with your family, how much are you willing to spend?
~The Money Pincher~