This is the hand written last will and testament of a mother, who passed away at the age of ninety.
This old lady, had four daughters, one son and fifteen grandchildren. At the time of her death she had nothing to leave them, only this, her last testament, with its many spelling mistakes, and poor handwriting. As poor as its appearance was, so vast was the wealth of its spiritual content.
“My beloved children,” she begins, and proceeds to make reference to each of her children by name as well as the names of each of their spouses and each of her grandchildren, making a total of 25 names.
‘’ With kisses I take my leave of you. You will open and read this letter after my death and in it I bequeath to you the following advice.’’
‘’Your first task, as you wake each morning is to wash, light the kadelaki, and bless all of your home with Holy Incense and prayer. When this is done you should say your Morning Prayers from your prayer book as I have taught you to do. You should all do this together, husbands wives and grandchildren of each family. When this has been completed carry on with your daily work, only in this way will the Lord protect and bless your every task, your work and your families.
Each Sunday you must all go to church, as well as at every great Feast Day. Each evening, young and old should gather round before bed time and read the evening prayers, the Psalms for the Theotoko, the new testament and ‘’The Saving of the Sinner’’.
Don’t ever forget the fasts, please keep all of them, as I kept them and as I made you keep them through your entire childhoods from the tender age of six years old.
When you keep these precepts beloved children, it will be as though, you light a candle in my memory each day. I see this as the best and beautiful daily memorial.
You must keep and live the religious traditions of our nation and pursue Heavenly riches, because all of the riches of this world are transient and worthless. Your good deeds and hidden charities will be received by you in eternity. Everything else, of this life, will be put out like nothing more than a dream. You will bring none of this life with you to Eternity, not wealth, not status, not beautiful homes, only your good deeds and you patient hearts.
I leave my blessing with you and I want you to be loving and kind to one another, be united first between you as brothers and sisters, united as families, then with relatives, neighbors and all people.
You must do as many good works as you can and never be missing from church. Always forgive those that wish you ill. These are the things that remain here on earth and in Heaven. As many years as we live it will appear as just yesterday that our lives have passed us by and for this reason, do as many good works as you can, never be unjust to anyone, tell lies to nobody, not even to your enemy.
Never be without the Church and a good Spiritual Advisor.
I would like you to read this letter each year, after the Trisayio that you will perform in my memory. This would be the best possible memorial service that you could perform for me.
I give you my blessing, and with kisses I bid you farewell, till we meet again in Paradise.’’