One of the great things about the group of girlfriends with whom I go out with every Wednesday ("go out" as in "stay inside in a basement") is that most of us are within a few years of each other, so we have common life experiences like power surges, crushes on the men of LOST, and older parents.
So one week several months ago, when we were discussing great gifts to give our families for Christmas, two ideas came up that are completely representative of our stage of life:
1. Life Hammer, the Original Auto Emergency Escape Tool, which some of us gave to our children to be used should they find themselves trapped in their cars beneath water or engulfed in flames because you just never know.
2. The Making Things Easy for My Family Book, a basic "where you can find my important papers when I die" manual.
Do you detect a theme?
So I ordered the death book for my parents because I'm thoughtful like that.
They actually appreciated the gesture.
Tuesday (yes, it took weeks to get to it) I sat with them at their kitchen table and began the process of getting their things in order.
In fact, the whole experience was just ... trying.
For one thing, they have been married 68 years, so they ARE one person. But they are one person who argues with him/herself, if you know what I mean. Not a real argument like you might have in your 40s, 50s, or 70s, but one you would have in your 80s, which is kind of pointless because ... what was I going to say?
Yeah, like that.
So it went a little like this:
Me: Dad, I need all of your life insurance policies.
Dad pulls out about half a dozen yellowed, ancient policies. I mean, they were taken out in 1953 and matured in 1984 kind of ancient.
Me, putting policies in a pile: Dad, you're just going to have to take these to your company and find out what's what. What's the name of the company?
Dad: American Mutual National Co. (Fake name for blog, clever of me in case you would try to rip off my elderly parents with their 1953 policies.)
Mom: No. That is NOT the name. That is the old name. There's a new name.
Me: What is it?
Dad and Mom: [crickets]
Me: So where do you keep your important papers?
Dad: In a lock box.
Me: Where is that? (he answers)
Where is the key?
Dad: In the box.
Me: You keep the key IN the lock box?
Dad: No, well, yes. I keep it in the lock of the lock box, but it's not locked.
Mom: I want to be buried in my pink suit and just a little bit of bangs to cover my forehead.
Yeah, so that's how that went, for TWO hours.
At any rate, we got two pages filled in. That's better than what we had done last Monday, right?
Question: Do you know where your important "stuff" is? And more importantly, what suit do you wish to be buried in?