Stuff I am writing now is not my personal experience but it is something that had happened with a guy (who is my friend now) whom I met in Toronto, Canada. This is a bit long story but please make sure that you read the entire story. I am sure that you will learn some meaningful lessons for life.
His name was Darniel, aged around 65. He had a wife and 3 children. Wife was Elena and children were David, Edgar & Eliza. He was from an average family, had a nuclear family and till he got retired he was the sole earning member. He had his own struggle stories of youth where he had to do various small jobs to earn a living, but later after his marriage with Elena he had settled himself at a small garment factory where he was a supervisor.
He said various things about his life but he had emphasized on his second child "Edgar" a lot. He said my boy David is at Ontario & Eliza is married at Ontario. But when he started saying about Edgar ha had a story to tell. He started saying that Edgar was the most enthusiastic and ambitious child of mine. From here on I will narrate it as per the story Darniel Said:
Edgar, my second child was the heart of my home. It was my pure luck after he was born and my life started taking a different meaning. Whatever I did was a success and my promotions started happening in leaps and bounds. I still remember when I bought him a bicycle on his 7th birthday. He was so thrilled that, all the day long he would roam on that cycle and he started learning a pilion drive (double seat) so that he could drop me to my work place (My work place was hardly 15 minutes walk from my home).
After 3 years when he had crossed his 10th birthday, I saw a spark in his behavior. He had been observing the gold shop near our house. And one night he came to me and said dad, why don't you invest in Gold. I was shocked hearing a 10 year old talking about investments, but that day I realized that he has got a foresighted brain. I followed his advice, I started investing small part of my salary in Gold.
Days passed by, Edgar grew and finished his studies. He was an average student academically but was very sharp. He understood traits of life and had his own path. He was so anxious to know more and more things. Everyday he used to maintain a diary and most of the part filled was what he learnt today and what he plans to learn the next day.
It was almost 12 years that I was investing in Gold based on Eager's advice and I had a saving of 14 gold blocks now, not very huge but I was satisfied that I had saved enough so that I can live after my retirement as well as it would be useful for my children in their future as well.
It was my 52nd year and I was ready to get my little angel Eliza married. I had some cash and then I had my Gold Blocks, courtesy Edgar's advice. I sold 4 Gold blocks to get my princess married.
By this time Edgar was almost 24 and he was ready to rock and roll his career. As he grew to this level, he was no more innocent, he always had money in his mind and had ambitions to be very successful & rich guy. I would not say he was wrong, it was probably because he had seen me struggling in my earlier days and he wanted to make sure that he is capable of taking care of his parents and the expected family of his. He started trying for various options to earn money, obviously all of them were legal.
By this time my elder son David also married Suzzana and got settled at Ontario as he worked over there. And one relief was Eliza was also at Ontario, so she had somebody to rely on as well.
Then this day came in my life. Edgar had realized that to grow big in life he has to do something on his own and working for somebody else will never help him to get big. One Saturday night both of us along with Elena, we were having a round of scotch. During the conversation, he asked Dad can we sell the 5 Gold Blocks out of your saving, even after selling that we will be left with 5 more. This will help me in starting a business as well as we would be secured that we have 5 Gold coins left for our future.
I was startled. In one shot I said no chance that I would sell the Gold blocks. There were 2 reasons for saying this, first I was uncomfortable selling my life long savings that had appreciated well in the last 15-16 years and second was I wanted to make sure that these Gold blocks are there as an investment throughout my life. He argued with me saying that this has appreciated now and we should use this partially for creating a good life now and remaining will be there for future. I was completely adamant and rejected it completely. One more concern was that, I thought if I sell my Gold Blocks my society people will feel that I am getting poor so I sold my savings.
That talk ended badly that night and my relationship with Edgar soured a bit. We were on talking terms but not the way we used to, there was a distance now.
But Edgar was stubborn on his decision of starting something on his own and he had a garment shop in mind, as he had seen me working there and had a clear understanding of how it works. He started working double shifts to earn more money. On holidays he also did his part time job. He was earning more for sure, but then I was concerned about his health.
We talked about his marriage as he was almost 27 at that time, he bluntly said I have to grow big in life, be financially stable and then I will get married. Though we pushed him a lot but he was focused on getting his vision first. At that point I thought should I give him 5 Gold blocks, but restricted myself thinking that he would probably waste all my savings.
It was April, I had retired and Edgar was almost 33. He worked hard to gather finances for his business, he had saved a bit but most of the times his money used to get consumed in family affairs and then he had slog more for getting his objective achieved.
On April 7th 2009, Edgar complained of a small toothache and chest pain last night. But then he took some pain killers and slept off. On 7th morning he got dressed up and was ready for work. He hugged his mom, Elena as he does everyday and said "Bye Dad". Then around 12 noon we get a call from his work place and asked us to rush to his work place. We reached there and found Edgar sleeping on a couch. We rushed to him and asked what happened Edgar, are you alright ? He didn't reply, his colleague Rachael came to Elena, hugged her and said Edgar is no more, he got a cardiac arrest and passed away within 10 minutes of the attack. they informed that he was under a lot of stress since last couple of weeks and was tensed as he was not able to gather pro. I was dumbstruck, was not able to cry, was not able to talk, I was just standing there remembering my son's last words "Bye Dad", never thought it would be his final "Bye".
After his funeral ceremony, I came back home and opened my wardrobe to change. I happened to open the locker and saw Gold Blocks. I was upset and angry at seeing it. My son slogged just because I didn't give those bloody 5 Gold Blocks. Now what is that saving for when don't have my son with me. He was the guy who had said to invest in Gold and when he needed it I didn't give it to him. I wanted to be a good father but thinking about my past, about the society and other factors I rejected his request. Now I live with this guilt for the rest of my life that my son left us because of my stubbornness, selfishness about my image in the society and thinking too much for the future.
Ok guys, Nick here. Well I was moved by this story of Darniel. But along with it I learnt some lessons for life:
- Think about future but also make sure that your present is good
- If you have decent savings then allocate some for the present and allocate some for the future
- Don't think about society in these matters, nobody is going to be there with you, only your children will be with you
- Yes, you should make your children responsible, but if you can help in making them financially stable with your savings you should definitely do it. I don't recommend wasting your savings by selling it off for their materialistic needs like a vehicle or a foreign trip but if you can help them in getting off their liabilities, investing in a small business that could get appropriate returns, buy properties or make your savings earn your recurring income, then you should definitely do it.
- When you allocate your investment make sure that that you don't wipe off all your savings, my advice would be it should not exceed more than 50% of your investment.
- Make sure that your children doesn't have the grudge that you had money but it was of no use when they actually required it for their practical and logical needs
- Last, people are more important than money, so make sure that you give second priority to money and give first priority in setting your family stress-free.