The Sunday Series begins a new year. What we do here each week is to share a story, one of courage, hope, or inspiration. A story about you – you overcoming a great challenge, you lending a helping hand, or helping someone else to simply survive, or you living your purpose, doing what you were born to do.
But what happens the day you are no longer here? If the stories shared here are the stories of our lives, what happens when your life ceases to exist? The book you are writing, the story of your life ends, but the story of those you hold dear and who are relying on you also changes, sometimes in ways so dramatic you can’t imagine, and you can’t help, because you no longer exist. To steal a line from yesterday’s blog: “When we get excited about life, we get a life that is exciting.” So how do you make sure life can remain that way for those you love the most? How do you make sure their dreams don’t die with you?
The Sunday Series (52): It’s Just About… Life
Ever thought about your greatest asset? Take a moment to think about it, then say your answer out loud. For many of you, the answer will be the same, your family. Except in most cases, you would be wrong. Dead wrong.
If you are a working adult, and if you are responsible for a life, any life – husband, wife, son or daughter – then I know your greatest asset. So do you, if you think about it…it’s your ability to earn a living.
This is what I do for a living, what I believe in, part of my passion and purpose – and I think it is important in this first week of the new year – and this next round of The Sunday Series, for you to read a few stories from those who will reinforce what I believe, because when it works, courage, hope and inspiration live on forever.
Consider the story of Coleen Stokes:
Losing a child leaves a hole in your heart that can never be filled. My daughter, Summer, was everything you could want in a daughter—laid back, fun and very smart. I was so proud of what she was accomplishing on her own at just 22. She was working full time as a waitress and going to school full time studying premed.
She was also expecting her first child, and was smart enough to realize that she needed life insurance to protect her family-to-be. I have our insurance agent, Christie, to thank for that. When Christie learned that Summer was going to be a mom, she made sure to let Summer know how important life insurance was, especially for a single mom.
I had told Summer to hold off on getting the policy because I was worried about her making ends meet each month. But Christie was right. She understood that while the odds were against anything happening to Summer at such a young age, you just never, ever know. So Christie helped her get a policy that—for just $12 a month—would protect her new baby.
Tragically my daughter was struck and killed by a car as she was walking. Her son, Nathan, was just 9 months old at the time.
The money from Summer’s life insurance policy allowed me to give my daughter a beautiful funeral—to make it a celebration. There would have been no way for me to do that for her all by myself.
The money helped me take a leave of absence after Summer died so I could take care of Nathan. This money allowed me to maintain dignity while allowing me time to grieve.
It has also paid for the adoption process as well. My husband and I formally adopted Nathan in May of 2013. I’ve put the remaining money from Summer’s policy aside for Nathan’s education. He’s 6 now and thriving!
It’s still hard for me to share this story, but I feel it’s very important to let other young people know that there’s no promise of tomorrow, and you need to prepare for that with life insurance. Please don’t wait.
Summer accepted the responsibility. But then there’s Tina’s husband who thought otherwise.
Here’s the open letter from Tina to her husband who passed away from a heart attack:
You always chuckled and laughed that you would never die and I would just remarry. Well guess what? You died one year later! It’s now two years later, all our money is gone and I have some real physical and mental challenges. I am left with our daughter Susan, NO HOME, working two jobs, and bills coming out my $##, and the damn collectors will not stop calling. They are even calling our friends and my work. The doctor bills for your heart attack alone were in excess of $90,000.
The fun and laughter is now gone and we are really hurting! When I really think about it, I believe I am as much to blame as you are. I should have opened my mind and imagined the alternative picture the life guy was painting. Instead I chose to laugh about it and assumed it would never happen to us.
The joke is on me! I am not remarried and most likely will not get married ever again. When someone dies it is amazing the sorrow and pain that comes to the surface.
Or how about the story of Ted and Tammy:
We miss you so much, but I want to let you know that I appreciate you so much about us and listening to the life insurance specialist three years ago even though I was so against insurance.
I know you are no longer with us and how wonderful it must be in heaven. I just wanted to let you know that we are all ok. The kids are all growing quickly and our new nanny is wonderful. At first I was worried how I was going to be able to continue work and take care of a family at the same time. Although we all miss you every minute of the day, your planning and forethought has sure made it easier not having to worry about who will take care of the kids and the house.
Instead we get to focus on you and our memories. Tammy, thanks for being so persistent and forceful.
If you are reading this trying to decide whether you need life insurance, ask yourself this question “What will happen to my family and friends if I die and are they worth the $25 a month?”
Your husband – Ted
How about our own life story?
My wife Debbie was diagnosed with breast cancer in April of 2012. Just six months earlier, with obviously no idea this was coming, I had increased her term life insurance coverage by $500,000. One year after her diagnosis I was able to convert some of that term policy to permanent, cash-value whole life – without a single health question being asked – and can do so again and again to make sure there is always insurance in force – but only because it was in place before Debbie got sick. It’s the power of your health. Health is wealth.
Look, you can tell me this is all self-serving, since this is part of what I do for a living. I will tell you I am here to serve others, with purpose and passion in everything I do, from writing, to speaking, to sharing what I learn, to educating and helping through my vocation. It is all part of why I am here. I can affect and sometimes change lives with the gift of my words and can do the same by helping others realize a need and give those they love the gift of financial security.
I am here to serve you. It’s my one and only goal here on The Sunday Series, and It’s Just About… Life, and my work as a Financial Services Professional. Life is meant to be savored, you should find a way to get excited about life, about any life and when the time comes, when your time comes, to make sure those you love get to live out the story of their lives with grace and dignity, because you had the forethought to take care of them while you were alive.
I encourage you to watch the You Tube video below, it will take you exactly two minutes and don’t miss the “flip”. If you want to reach out to me for any reason, you can contact me on this blog, through social media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter – Google me or visit the Contact page on this blog. And you can e-mail me anytime – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.
(You can see Coleen Stoke’s story and other real life stories at http://www.lifehappens.org/ )
Mark Brodinsky, Author, Blogger, Financial Services
Author: The #1 Amazon Best-Seller: It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story
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