Dearest Mary Jane,
I well remember how nervous we were with our finances when we first started out. But I remember my father telling me that we had to buy life insurance, no matter how odd it sounded, or morbid. We were a newly married here in the Capital Region, a baby on the way.
My dad said that we had taken vows to love, honor, and protect each other. And that we had to make it real. Strange that he chose the holidays to sit down with us...but I guess it was the only time we could get together.
None of us knew that day would come in 1996, when that heart attack that had been building in me for decades, would separate us forever. I know how inconsolable you were.
As tough as it has been for you in the 17 years since that day, thank God you were able to get a check for $500,000 to replace my income. You invested it, as my father instructed, and were not hit with the double whammy of losing me and being sent into financial hardship.
- I'm so proud that you were able to keep the house and keep our kids in their schools. I'm so proud that Mikey's now a lawyer and Paula Jean heads up the nursing school at the local hospital.
- I'm so proud that you were able to go on with your life, traveling (and enjoying the beauty of Alaska and the Virgin Islands). It's a big world and you were able to enjoy it. And will keep doing so.
- And now, because you didn't have to go into debt, you can slow down and plan for a retirement, spending time with our grandchildren, whom you love so much.
I have always been with you in spirit. Thank God we had my father's advice that snowy night at the holidays when we invested time and a little money to protect each other.
You know you are always in my thoughts.
P.S.--I know you would want young couples to get this information.