The best gift we could ever give a loved one is a phone number.
They say that diamonds are forever and flowers create emotions. While these are both true I want to suggest that when you care the most you provide a hand to hold and a shoulder to lean on.
I’m married. I have kids, a mortgage and all the financial burdens of the American Dream. So I bought life insurance. But then I went one step further. Anticipating that if my wife became a widow, she would appreciate some direction in her life I wrote a letter. I told her of my love and gratitude for all that we had together. Then I told her about the couple of business cards that are in the envelope. These professionals are people I have met and trust. They could be helpful on how best to mange the finances she now has to deal with, the life insurance proceeds. I provided more than one name, allowing her to meet and decide for herself who to work with. The envelope is inside the policy jacket of the life insurance and she doesn’t even know it is there, unless she reads this post.
She also has a phone number. My kids have it too. It is to the company that services our Revocable Living Trust. The customer service representative and the local representative are the best gift I can give them. I might be dead, or in a comma, and they need to know what to do. What forms to fill out, what papers to file, what legal obligations do they have? For a lot of people this becomes a confusing and emotionally draining time as they try to figure this out by themselves or enlist the costly services of someone they don’t really know. All this happens soon after a loved one is buried or in a critical state of health. My family just calls the number I gave them and along comes someone to answer questions and hold their hand through a messy part of life.
I’m not much of a gift giver, I often forget what flowers she likes or what is her birthstone.
But I know the gift of that phone number is a powerful reminder of how much I care.