Is your family protected?

April 21, 2008

by Jenni Sebora

A friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has undergone a mastectomy, blood transfusions and recently completed her first round of chemotherapy and reconstructive surgery.

She is a wife, a teacher, and the mother of five children, a one-year old, three-year old, five-year old, a nine-year old and a twelve year old. She wears a lot of hats, and these numerous hats have been put on hold, so to say, because of her health.

To receive such a diagnosis definitely is harrowing news and puts an enormous strain on a family emotionally, physically and financially.

Luckily, my friend has many friends and a very loving and giving extended family that has helped and continues to support them in any way they can. My friend has a very positive attitude and is fighting her way through this with the love and support of her friends and family.

As I regularly read my friend’s journal entries on the Caring Bridge website, I am truly amazed by her strength and courage and the latitude of support of friends and family that I am sure only helps fuel her wondrous strength.

My friend’s life situation brings me to thoughts of how delicate life really is, and how the course of a person’s and family’s life can change in one day, in one moment.

Can anyone ever be prepared for such a turn of events? Probably not entirely anyway.

Is my family prepared if anything happens to me or my husband or to both of us?

Having to deal with a loss is difficult enough without having the added burden of financial devastation. Another friend of mine lost her husband unexpectedly. This was devastating to her and her grown children. What compounded the situation was that there was no life insurance policy, which was a great strain on my friend. She was dealing with loss and an uncertain financial future.

Does my family have things in order, such as financial protection, wills, if something were to happen to myself or my spouse or both of us? Who would take care of our children if something happened to us?

My husband and I recently increased our life insurance policies. If something happens to me, I don’t want my husband, and ultimately my children, to be burdened with great financial strains and vice versa. There are decisions that my husband and I need to continue to discuss and make to protect our family.

I believe such discussions are important for spouses and families to have as difficult as they may be. We want our families to be protected in any circumstance. We know life events occur, positive and negative, that can change our lives forever.

We shouldn’t take things for granted. We should live each day to its fullest and tell our loves ones each day that we love them. But we should also prepare as best we can for emergencies. It is important that we protect our families. It is our job as parents to do this.

“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots; the other, wings.”

– Cecilia Lasbury

A fun and easy activity

At my eight-year old daughter’s recent birthday party, my daughter and her guests participated in a simple activity of Haiku drawings. Haiku is actually a kind of poetry/parlor game in which each participant contributes a line of the poem, etc.

In this drawing, each person contributes a part to the drawing without looking at the other’s contributions, resulting in some funny and fun pictures.

All you need is paper and a pencil, crayons or markers and the participants. Fold the paper width wise into thirds, accordion style. We asked the first person to draw the head however they wanted it to look. The second player then drew the body, and the last person drew the legs.

We opened the paper and revealed the final product – the summary of the individual contributions. We did this several times because we had so much fun with it. We then voted on the drawing that we each liked the best.