A dying mother's advice for her children

In the face of death, Caridad Kolb wrote these final words of wisdom to her beloved children to guide them through their teenage years. She wrote these guidelines, knowing that she wouldn’t be there for them in person, only in spirit. These are words that teach Love, Kindness, Dignity and Respect.

Best wishes,

Hartmuth Kolb

Guidance from the hospital bed

Caridad B. Kolb: “Dear Luke, Annabella, and most of all my beloved Papi,

Here are my More Than Ten Commandments to YOU:

Love is GOD/Goddess/Goodness.  Love is what you owe yourself.  Love is living your life with dignity.  Love your father, brother, sister, and mother.  Love is forever.  Love NEVER dies.  Love is caring.  Love is kindness.   Love is action.  Love is forgiveness.  Love is NOT FORGETTING.  Love is never a theory.  Love is a gentle touch and focused listening.  Love is learning to be a better person, everyday.  Love is feeling gratitude for life and respect for the living.

Reading, thinking, kindness, and courtesy are life skills.  Together, these four habits will give anyone a better life.  Any problem in life can be dealt with by staying calm and reading, always apply the Seven Book Rule.  Read every day.  Study best in the morning and read before bed. Discuss books.  Become friends ONLY with other avid reader/thinkers because only smart people will be able to be good—loyal— friends to you when you need them.  True friendship requires thought.  Thoughtful people have learned how to control themselves and think out many potential solutions to whatever problems they face.  Notice how people behave and remember that who-ever you spend lots of time with you will become more like them.  So… BE SELECTIVE!

Exercise, as in physical activity, must be integrated into daily routines.  Walk to work/school (always paying attention where you are going, always notice who follows you, avoid being kidnapped).  Walk the dog after a healthy dinner (organic meat and veggies).  Ride your bikes, often.  Play sports.  Skiing.  Sailing.  Basketball could be a good ticket for Annabella.  Baseball might be just the right sport for, Luke.  Soccer is good for both.   Music instruction helps brain development and relaxation.  Classics, mythology, and theology are good supplemental interests.  Cooking, knitting, dance, sewing, piano and painting classes upon classes for both kids…  LANGUAGE ARTS: communication, the more languages you speak fluently, and politely, the BETTER!

Sex is serious.  Save it for the people YOU really LOVE and TRUST.  YOU will not be ready for SEX until your body is fully developed and you are able to take care of yourself, incase a baby is made…  then IF you decide have a child, you can count on us to help you with whatever choice YOU make.   Daddy and Mommy are always around to help.  Share your body, your kisses and hugs, only with people that are clean, careful, and promise to share themselves only with you.  Be careful because, unless you are ready to have a BABY you should not do what it take to make babies, which is having sex.

BE AWARE that some people will be willing to steal your heart or your things, to trick you, to hurt you for money or for FUN (Evil people actually enjoy hurting others.  Your pain is their pleasure).  YOU can avoid getting hurt by paying attention and being aware that when some people get close to you it is not with good intentions.  So always watch, listen, and learn and change your plans in response to new information.  IF a person is mean to you once, be aware that they are very likely to make a habit of it, and become meaner.  EVERYTHING GETS EASIER with practice and the more you practice anything the better you will become at it.  Thus… GET AWAY from mean people as soon as you realize they are not caring.  Be aware that others may be jealous that you know how to behave and take care of yourself/possessions and mostly they don’t.  Remember, most people’s parents do not invest the time/energy/love we have focused on YOU.

You must protect yourself.  Learn to say, “No Thank YOU!” To anyone that wants/tries to give you trouble or trick you into trying risky behaviors or doing damage to your body, for example, you will meet people that will offer you smoke, pills, powders, injections, and even candies that are designed to make you feel FUNNY.  They will claim that these substances will make you feel good.  BE AWARE that anyone selling or giving you drugs is a BAD PERSON, trying to trick you, use you, hurt you, and make you a slave.

Addiction is one of the worst forms of slavery.  Some of the worst poisonous street drugs will make you crave/want to have more and more of them, while making YOU feel sick, when you don’t have money to pay for them.  (Some people end up committing crimes to get money for drugs.)  This can happen to anyone that uses drugs or alcohol with urgency.  Observe people and DON’T FALL INTO this common trap.  Be careful with what you put in your body and do NOT accept people into your life that use addictive substances, drugs, or exhibit “risky behaviors.”  There are many people that are addicted to gambling, overeating, and other “thrill,” experiences.  Notice people’s habits, hobbies, preferences, and statements.  Listen to them.  Do not become friends with people that are sneaky.  Be aware of what others eat, do, say.  Stay away from people that seem focused more on FUN than on doing their daily work.  There is no shortcut to learning in life.  YOU must work everyday to become a good grown-up like Mommy and Papi.

You must decide who is a worthy acquaintance and who you are better off avoiding.  YOU must pay attention, in order to avoid, inviting drug addicts and/or other types of criminals into your world.  They are dangerous and unreliable people.  They fell for the lie(s) of other tricky people and now they want to lure you into their world of evil.  Yet, by paying attention you can distinguish good from bad people and create lasting relationships with worthy, well raised, people that have self respect and self control like YOU!

Tattoos are a BAD IDEA.  The people that get them have a harder time getting and keeping good jobs.  Don’t do this stupid thing to your beautiful skin.  Take care of yourself, your hair, hands, eyes, BODY.  Your body belongs to you and NO ONE has the right to touch you.  YOUR Mother and FATHER will always LOVE you and protect you.  WE care.  We are strong.  If anything happens to one of us, THANK GOD and GOODNESS you will always have our LOVE, which we have already given you.   Fortunately, we have been able to spend more time together than most parents will EVER spend with their children, already.  Remember to thank god that you have had, already, so much LOVE.  Thank god for your LIFE everyday and everyday become a better person.

Self respect and Self control are the most important traits.  You cannot control others.  YOU must, therefore, control yourself to stay calm and alert, always learning, thinking, and avoiding problems.

Observe others.  Pay attention.  Learn names.  Look at people’s faces when they speak to you.  Answer questions with full sentences.  Listen to people, think about what you will say BEFORE speaking.  PLAN your LIFE.

Protect yourself and be aware that most people are NOT taught to think, read, or eat properly LIKE YOU.  Keep your observations of other’s short comings to yourself but always improve your behavior.  NOTICE what works: when you behave yourself people will like you, you will have friends, FUN, and a good life.  IF you cannot listen you can and will get in HOT WATER.  So… make good choices.  BE SMART.  Stay close to each other, make time to listen and learn from each other, stick together.

Reading List:

“The Elements of Style,” by Strunk and White
“How to Win Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie
“The Rules,”
“How Children Succeed,”
“Teach your Child to think,”
“A Short Guide to Writing About ART.”

Books on personality, people watching, bird watching, gardening, art history, dogs, human nature, anthropology, meditation, cults, brainwashing, predators, criminology, self-defense, and nature…. Are important.  Develop your mind, body, and know that you will be prized for your knowledge and remembered by your loved ones.

Yours truly,

Caridad B. Kolb”

Always embracing life. Always.