7 November

Leaving Something Behind

by Jon Katz

When I first knew Maria, she seemed fearful and fragile to me. When I got divorced and changed my life, I knew I was taking a risk, I left behind all of the money I had saved up working over the years.

Divorce is like that, it was a good decision, it saved my life in a way.

If anything has kept me up at night in recent years, it has been the idea that I will die before Maria (I am 17 years older than she is) and leave nothing behind but a farm and a lot of animals and hay and feed costs.

I’ve pretty much dealt with all of my debt.

As Maria has grown and evolved, I see how strong she is,  how good she is and will  be at taking care of herself. There is a lot of talk about feminism these days, but Maria is the real deal.

She finds the very idea of being taken care of offensive.

That doesn’t keep me awake any longer. But I have thought about what I can leave behind if I die. I know she will want to keep our dogs and farm animals, she loves them dearly.

I would like to leave her something of value, and two things I thought of recently were my blog and also the Army Of Good. The blog is a tangible thing, the Army Of Good is not mine to give, but I think it would be a good fit in terms of continuing this work. It should not melt away, and people can, of course, make up their own mind.

I called Mannix Marketing and arranged for them to connect my blog to Maria’s if I should die. I told them to just do it, not to ask Maria about it. If I die, my blog readers will automatically be transferred to Full Moon Fiber Art. People can support that new blog if they wish and transfer their subscriptions, e-mail and financial.

Or not. It would have to be a good thing for them. Maria’s blog has grown  in recent years, and so has she. She has become an accomplished writer and photographer and videographer as well as an artist.

Mannix said they would be happy to do that transfer for me.

I asked Maria if she would wish to continue the work of the Army Of Good, since she is so familiar with it. She said she would very much to continue that work, she is already an important part of it.

I feel good about this, a weight taken off me.

I can’t leave Maria a lot of money and she says she would never want that, which is fortunate. But I can leave her these two precious things, things of great value to me, and perhaps to others, things that might help her in keeping our animals together and protecting her work as an artist.

Maria can take care of herself, I know that and see that every day. My life has not progressed along conventional notions of middle-class security. I expect to die poor. But I do love the idea of leaving something of value behind for her, and I don’t mean that in any morbid way.

We have done all of this together, and it is all hers as much as mine. Our great love is my greatest gift.

I expect to be around for a good long while, I feel I’m just getting started in so many ways. But the idea of my blog and the AOG living beyond me is literally a dream come true.


  1. This is a very good idea. None of us are promised tomorrow but it’s good to always live as if it is —but to also be intelligent in what we can provide for our loved ones whenever we pass on. I assume the farm is paid for if not at least insured for her. And she will get your social security partial death benefit too. My husband is 11 years older than I so this is very close to home so to speak. Thank you for being responsible and yet giving her the affirmation of her strength and talents she will always retain.

  2. Jon, I loved this. I have warned my husband many times, NOT to “princess” me. It feels infantilizing. His Dad princessed his Mom their whole marriage, and when he died, she was lost, can’t do many things for herself or around the house, and worse, she needs constant attention. Ugh, no thanks. I love that you have more respect for Maria and her talents and capabilities.

  3. In reading your blog and Maria’s blog side by side (from their beginnings) it is certainly obvious to me how you both have evolved and grown. I particularly noticed Maria’s evolution after her Kickstarter campaign for a new sewing machine…and especially after her visit to the Gee’s Bend quilters. It’s especially ironic that I’m reading this post today because I’m just now up to this post from 2014: https://www.bedlamfarm.com/2014/06/02/sunrise-leaving-the-world-behind/. At 68 years of age, I’m thinking a lot of the same thoughts.

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