Monday, November 03, 2014

Preparedness, part 2

Last week I made a mad dash to visit my dad in the hospital, 400 miles away (not the dad who had cancer). His medical crisis came out of the blue and took everyone who knew him by surprise. His parents lived to 103 and 100; overconfident in our good genes, he and I expected the same. Well, now he appears very mortal, indeed; time will tell how dramatic the changes in his life will be.

(Above, fall colors outside my dad's hospital. Below, scenes on my way home.)

This experience has me thinking about preparedness again – this time, preparedness for a personal crisis. None of us know what tomorrow will bring; if something should happen to me it is clear there are things I can and should do to benefit myself and my loved ones.

4) Stuff. We all have too much of it. When I can no longer physically or mentally make use of or disperse my stuff, someone else has to. So it behooves to me downsize NOW. Sell it, donate it, recycle it, dispose of it – just don't leave it all for someone else to deal with. Yes, it takes time and energy, but it's MY stuff so I should be spending MY time and energy to deal with it while I'm able.

On a related note, if it is important to me that certain people have certain items of my stuff when I can no longer use them, I need to put that in writing.

3) Communications. If I can no longer operate my phone or computer, does someone else know my passwords? Can they access my contact list? Can they let people know that I am indisposed, to stop calling or emailing me until further notice?

2) Paperwork. A list of your insurance, bank accounts, etc. should be in the hands of someone you trust. Do you have, in writing, a living will (known in Oregon as an advance directive)? Have you designated, in writing, a health care representative? Have you given someone power of attorney? Some people (like my DH) have a strong aversion to these tasks; they don't want to think about their own mortality. But we ARE mortal, and my desires can't be followed if they aren't known and in legal form.

1) Relationships. In the end, they are what matters most. Take time to nurture relationships with family and friends; treat even strangers with courtesy and kindness. And most of all, stay close to your Creator and Redeemer, for He loves you and aches for Your love in return. With Him, we can look forward to eternal life in a land free from pain and problems, sin and sorrow. Amen.

That's it for now from . . .


C-ingspots said...

It's a good list. Thanks for the reminder. I've been trying to reduce the amount of "stuff" we have too, because you're right, we ALL have too much of it. Hope your dad continues to improve. As far as a will, I'm checking into a "living revocable trust" instead of a will because unlike a will, the trust cannot be challenged and is less expensive overall.

Tombstone Livestock said...

Yes it is all something we should do, I had a good start 3 years ago and good intentions but then I started spinning and now have 6 wheels, 3 that actually spin, and every time I add something I think do I really need this? Well for now yes.

Michelle said...

Lorie, a living will is all about your wishes for medical intervention, as opposed to what happens to your stuff when you die. Both kinds of "wills" are important, but I think the first if even more so, since you won't know any better once you're dead.

Audrey, staying on task is hard, isn't it?

A :-) said...

I'm sorry about your Dad and hope he will rebound soon :-) Sounds like you are are reaching the place I reached awhile ago. Divesting stuff is amazingly freeing. Another mentioned a trust - they can be very important in avoiding probate. Extremely important: In Illinois the most important document for health care purposes is NOT a living will - it's the Medical Power of Attorney. You MUST have one here to have your wishes carried out. I would suggest you contact an attorney who specializes in estate planning in your state. He/she can guide you through the process and make sure you have everything you need.

Tammy said...

These are things we don't like to think about, but the older I get the more it crops up. I'm working on some of it. I worry the most about my pets. No one is going to want umpteen rotten cats and old sheep and I don't want any of them living out a horrible life because they fell through the cracks. What to do.

I will be praying for you and your Dad.


Michelle said...

I thought of you, Adrienne, when I wrote about "stuff." You've been an inspiration!

Tammy, my animals are my greatest material concern in case of either personal OR natural disaster. I think we owe it to them to have plans for their care in place.

Florida Farm Girl said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear of Dad's setback. I truly hope and pray that he'll recover.

And, it does pay to think about the unthinkable and to be prepared as best you can. It'll prevent a lot of anguish later on.

Debbie said...

Wishing Dad a speedy recovery. You are so right with the preparedness. I've been paring away at things. Thus far one trip of goodies for the thrift store. The filing cabinet contents are now contain updated information. Thanks Michelle for the reminder.

Kelly said...

I got this done prior to our trip to the UK last year, it was long overdue and the trip was a good deadline to make me get it done. I included an animal care directive in my will that gives power to the people that know my animals and their value. I can now be assured that my animals will not end up on a trailer and headed to the sale barn should I no longer be able to care for them.
I am very sorry to hear about your are all in my thoughts and prayers.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Good points! Keeping your dad in my prayers.