Woke up in a great mood. Easter was over, and it had been a relaxing day. My three sons were returning to school from spring break.
After some procrastination (mainly to ensure our huge house transactions were complete), I scheduled a followup appointment with our elder care attorney to finalize our wills and my Power of Attorney document. The appointment was today. We started this process a year ago. It finally percolated to the top of the priority list, again.
We were sent some basic questions to think about before the appointment mainly involving when our kids might receive money should something happen to both my husband and me. No problem easy decision – 25 and 30 yrs old. The decisions regarding my husband’s finances also seemed fairly simple. Sadly, we have known for almost 18 months that my husband has a terminal disease. His assets will roll to me to take care of the kids.
It hasn’t happened in a while but there have been many over the course of our journey with my husband’s disease – a sucker punch. It came out of nowhere, today. Right in the gut. Sucked the air out of my lungs.
What happens if I die? Wait. That is not part of this. It can’t be. My kids are already losing their father. Nothing can happen to me. That hasn’t even been a fleeting thought of mine. Yet, here the attorney is asking me – what will happen with your assets if something happens to you? What about your kids? I couldn’t even focus. I certainly couldn’t look at my husband. The words came choking out, “My husband can’t manage our money or our kids. He can’t even drive our kids anymore. Oh, right. They will have to go somewhere else if something happens to me. My sister will take them.”
Next question: Who will take care of your husband? Wait. That’s me. It’s always been me. Again, my response came whispering out, “I guess that would have to be his brother or mother.”
Why I had not considered any of these possibilities was beyond me. For the last 5 years, I’ve been hyper-focused on making sure my husband was ok, his care was managed, and our family had the resources we needed to carry on. Never did I think about my own mortality and the complications that would create.
Oh man. Just when I think I have a bit of a grip on things, I realize I don’t. So many things are just out of my control. But, sucker punch – back at you. I started making phone calls, sending emails, and getting commitments from those close to us so that my kids and husband will be taken care of in the unfortunate event something does happen to me. God. Please. No. Not any time soon. My kids need me. They are losing enough. But, I can now sleep knowing that there is a plan in place.
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