Everyone has defining moments in their lives. After the years pass, it gets easier to pinpoint these moments as they remain the clearest memories and you can trace back the sequence of events like a storyline. At the age of five, I had the first vivid and defining moment of my life. I can follow the chain of events that started there and how it lead me to where I am now. Writing a blog about life insurance.
I remember my sister walking in the door returning from swimming lessons, me sitting at the kitchen table with my casted broken leg propped up on a chair and my mom telling us that our dad had drowned in an accident. The details of events that unfolded after that are pretty fuzzy, but that memory is crystal clear.
My dad was an adventurer.
Most of the pictures I have of him he is hunting, on a boat, or outside. I think it’s pretty clear now where I get my sense of adventure (and also why I had that broken leg). That part of me connects with my dad and understands why someone who feels that vital and is living life to the fullest was like a lot of young Canadians and wasn’t prepared with a will or life insurance.
I realized a couple of months ago, that I am right around the age my dad was when he passed away. Every once in a while I’m jolted into reality when a crowd funding site gets shared on my news feed in honour someone my age who has left their family too suddenly. We all know the death rate is still 100% but like most people, I still catch myself having the attitude that it couldn’t happen to me, when in reality, it already has. I am the kid who lost a parent too young.
When you are five, you don’t even really understand the concept of death, let alone how it will affect your family emotionally and financially. Now I can easily trace back the effect that my dad’s passing had our family and my life.
As far as stories of single moms go, we were very fortunate.
My mom had become a registered nurse before she was married and was already working at our hospital when we got the news. She worked her tail off to make sure we were in extra-curricular lessons like dance and music and to make sure we didn’t miss out. Thanks to close family friends, my sister and I had a loving second home to go to when she was working.
I know this story sounds like a gravy train compared to a lot of single parent situations, and I still feel that there was stress in our lives that didn’t need to be there. Now I know that some of it definitely would have been alleviated if my dad had taken the time to get life insurance in place.
Like I’ve mentioned before, my mom worked a lot. This wasn’t a choice, is was a necessity. She missed out on anything that was during work hours, be it parent volunteer work in our classrooms or even a social life for herself. If you have any nurses in your life, then you know they are tired. A lot.
Now that I am older, I can also see the longer term financial sacrifices she made to make sure we were educated and had every opportunity we could hope for. I can’t help but think how things would have been different. What if our mortgage had been paid for? What if our education savings were taken care of? Life would have looked a lot different.
Now listen, I do not want to make my dad sound like a bad guy who left us high and dry. I know he cared for us. He was young, lively, and had no idea his time would come so soon. Like most people, he probably had no idea that the proper amount of insurance can cost as little as a meal out each month. Most people hear that and think it is a very small price to pay for their family to be well taken care of.
I’m sure if he had known, I wouldn’t be writing this.
So here’s a plea from my five-year old self, please take the time. Now you know. There’s no excuse. Your life insurance may be the final gift that helps define their lives long after you are gone.