The importance of planning ahead

Tuesday, April 25, 2017  |  Heather Groff
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This is my story, one that illustrates the importance of planning ahead in the event of sudden, unexpected life changes.

Seven years ago my Mom called and asked me to pray for my Stepdad, she thought he had a heart attack and they were on the way to the local hospital. I had to sit down. I had just spoken to him 5 days earlier, not that you can tell by a phone call, but he sounded fine.

My stepdad had a LARGE personality. He owned his own business in a competitive environment. He built it by being smart and shrewd and he was successful. He worked hard serving tourist clientele from Memorial Day through Columbus and made his mark in the small place I grew up.

After my Mom and I spoke, they prepared my Stepdad to take a life flight to Massachusetts General Hospital where he would undergo open heart surgery to repair whatever was going on in his chest. Of course, I was miles away in Pennsylvania where I have spent all of my adult life. I felt helpless. My Mom was also several hours away and traveled to the hospital.

For the next hour or so, I spent my time calling my Sister, who is a nurse and could tell me what to expect, then my Mom, to see if there were any updates, and my Brother, who was on his way to Mass General and would arrive about an hour before my Mom.

The mood shifted when my Brother called me after he had arrived at the hospital. He had just come from the room where they had my Stepdad, the room where they were prepping him for surgery, the room where he went into cardiac arrest for his final time. “He’s gone” my brother uttered. An aortic aneurysm at age 66. I fell to the floor.

A blur followed for weeks. My heart still hurts when I think about how my children won’t remember him and all he had to offer to life. Don left a hole in our lives that was LARGE, just like him. Although this was 7 years ago, as I type the tears come back like it was this past Saturday. And we survive with a gap that just can’t be filled.

He did not have any plans to die like most of us of course, but this shrewd businessman literally had no continuing arrangement for his business, his family, my Mom. I refuse to be angry about it, I loved that man and won’t let this be my memory of him, but I have certainly seen the financial effects on my Mom.

What about you? Do you have plans in place for your spouse, your children, and your business? If you do, is it updated to your lifestyle and natural change in your life? My story is not meant to be exploitive or to seek business (I do work for an insurance agency right?). It’s meant for you to consider the horror of sudden changes in your life, a disability, accident, a death that you really don’t want to talk about but must. When life changes in an instant, or sometimes slowly over time, the last thing you want for your loved ones is for them to worry about is how everything will work when you’re disabled or gone.

It’s something for you to consider and plan. We are here for you.

Heather Groff
heatherg@bcfgroup.net 

Read 398 times Last modified on Monday, 15 May 2017 12:22

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