Article #13, August 30, 2003
A Wake-Up Call
This month I hope you will understand as I change my focus for this feature article. For those of you who do not know me personally, I have 2 incredible daughters, ages 8 and 10. Their Dad, Harry, and I have been apart for over 7 years, but have retained a good friendship. Last month he passed away, quite unexpectedly. It was quite a blow for all of us, as well as for the rest of his family and many friends.
Harry was the most generous person I’ve ever known, and an incredibly caring father. He was always there to help any time anyone needed him. He cared so much for people; I know he would want others to learn and benefit from our experiences.
Harry was only 50 years old and died (peacefully) from heart disease. This is a big wake-up call for me as I am 40 and heart disease runs in my family. Although I take pretty good care of myself, there is more I can do to improve and preserve my health. I’ve already started taking action to eat better and exercise more. I’ll be getting a cholesterol check every year from now on, and so will my children. I tell you this because I want you to feel compelled to take action, too. If you don’t do these things for yourself, then do them for the people who love you and particularly for the people who depend on you.
Often when people die, their children have to deal with both emotional pain and financial distress. Harry, the thoughtful man that he was, provided for his children with life insurance. Have you done the same? Have you maximized your employer’s life insurance benefits? Most employer insurance plans allow changes in October – examine your options. You may want to make changes to ADD and disability insurance offerings, also. If you don’t have an employer, see an insurance specialist or financial planner to go over your options.
If you are self-employed, you may also want to check with Social Security and your financial planner regarding contributions to SSI. If you haven’t written a will or designated guardians for your children, please look into it now.
On a more personal level, have you expressed your love to the people you care about? Just a few weeks ago, I had a wonderful conversation with Harry. I told him how much I appreciated him and his hard work to build our friendship. I acknowledged that he had done most of the work, and how much that meant to me – not just for our girls, but for me, too.
I know Harry is watching over us and he will live forever in our hearts, but we miss him very much.