Like many others, my husband and I took time away to visit family out of town over the holiday. We spent the weekend before Christmas with many of his family members who we don't often see. It was delightful, as always. We gathered to enjoy an early Christmas together and to also celebrate his Mama's 86th birthday. What a great opportunity to honor her, and to soak up some wonderful family time!
While we were there, I seized the chance to catch up with one of my husband's cousins and her husband, who like ourselves had traveled from another state. As she was recounting recent events in their lives, I found myself surprised by some of the family news she was sharing with me. And I'm even surprised that I was surprised, because I have had similar conversations with so many people! But, low and behold, she was explaining her great burden and exasperation over her dad and mom not having their affairs in proper order, and how it is making her attempts to be a good daughter in this season of their life very difficult. The reason I was caught off guard by this revelation is because her father has always been a very "together" person–one I have always esteemed and looked up to as our family has grown through the years. During his career he was a prominent business man, provided well for his wife and children, and seemed to be firmly at the helm of his ship, steering his life with skill and confidence. But now, years later, when his dear wife is experiencing Alzheimer's and his own memory is not serving him as well as in days gone by, there is a need for an extra watchful eye from his daughter, who fortunately lives nearby. Now here's the kicker: he does not have an estate plan in place with proper directives and powers of attorney, should they be needed. Because he has not wanted to give up control, he has been neglectful in following through with the lawyer he began to work with some years back, and he will not have appropriate conversations with his two grown children, to see things through.
How unfortunate! My heart truly aches my husband's cousin. She only wants to help her parents through this more difficult season in their lives, but on many fronts, she is held incapacitated without proper authority given to her to do so. I am so surprised by this because of her father's former wisdom in his dealings! I would have thought that he would understand that by not having his affairs in order, with proper and legally binding directives, he is in fact abdicating the very control he did not want to give up! He has missed the opportunity to stay at the helm of his ship to the end of his life's journey. If this situation is not corrected, the state where he lives will be making decisions for him that he could have made for himself. Hmmm...so sad for all involved.
If these kinds of issues are hitting too close to home for you, please take the opportunity to download a free copy of my book today! Don't let others, especially your family members, be surprised by your decision to not decide about your future!
Have a bright day!