Written by Jamie K. Fleischner, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, President of Set for Life Insurance by KF Financial, Inc.
Every year on October 8th, I pause to remember my mother who passed away this day in 1997 after battling a long illness. She was only 50 years old.
As the years go by, I ache to remember what it felt like when she was still alive. As more time goes by, I fear the memories will fade. She never lived long enough to see me get married or to meet any of her grandchildren. There are still times I find myself reaching for the phone to tell her about something happening in my life and stop myself. Some days I still can’t believe she is gone.
But, I also have to remember her as the optimist she always was. Even to the very end, she always thought about the bright side of things. I was her primary caregiver for her last 18 months, and she told me this was an opportunity for us to spend so much time together. So now I dig to figure out what could possibly be bright about losing your mother when she was only 50 years old?
On the personal side, the optimistic view is that it reminds me to live each day in the moment. Don’t let the little things bother you. Life is precious, and to take the time to be with the ones that you love. Laugh a lot, and don’t let the little things stress you out. Nothing lasts forever and the things in life that matter the most are the ones that can’t be purchased. Time, love, memories and happiness.
Professionally, I am reminded about the importance of planning for the unexpected. Fortunately, my mother purchased an individual disability insurance prior to her diagnosis in her early 30’s. She was in and out of remission for years until she had the biggest struggle her final 18 months. It was her individual disability policy that paid monthly income benefits to help her pay the extra bills and to replace her income when she couldn’t work. Although she had an enormous amount of stress to deal with as she battled her illness, the financial burden was less severe due to her fortuitous planning.
I encourage you all to take a few moments today and look around and reassess what is important to you. Don’t wait to tell people how you feel. Don’t be distracted, and try to live in the moment. Don’t put off purchasing life insurance or disability insurance. Make sure you have a proper will. Catastrophy isn’t something that always happens to someone else. It can happen to you, too. Make sure you, too, are well prepared for the unexpected.