Our ten-year-old daughter, Alex, came in our bedroom last night. She was upset and her sisters brought her into the room. We asked them to wait outside the door and Alex crawled up and gave me a hug. She was sobbing. Alex is generally reserved but she had been unusually quiet lately. She had been holding something in, mulling it over, and whatever it was was coming out all at one time.
“I don’t want you and mom to grow old and die”, she said.
“I don’t want to grow up… I don’t want to leave… I don’t want you to leave…” she continued.
I held her and her mother patted her back. We asked why she felt this way. We listened. I told her that I remembered thinking the same things when I was young and sometimes even now. I remember being so happy as a child and worried that things would change. Alex was experiencing the same thing. She and her sisters had gone a few weeks previous to my parents’ house in Savannah, Georgia. My mother and father are getting older as am I and as are we all. They had just left our house from a several day visit. I think that is what sparked her thoughts about change, growing older, leaving home and dying. Change is hard and can be especially hard on a smart, shy ten-year-old who bottles things deep inside.
Alex laid there for a good twenty minutes and cried and we talked. I assured her I was a young dad and that she had a young, beautiful mom who would be here for a long time. I told her I took care of myself, ate right, exercised and that I planned on being around and active for the majority of her life. We talked about how she would always have a place in our home and that she could stay there, like her older brother, Jordan, even when she is in college and has breaks and summers off. Her mother told her she could build a house on the empty lot beside us and she loved that idea. After a while she calmed down and was content. Her sisters, who had been listening at the door came in and got in bed with us, too. They wanted love and attention, too. We all talked for a good half hour more before I sent them off to brush their teeth and go to bed.
There were a few things that I didn’t tell Alex, though. A few things that I know to be true but didn’t feel appropriate for her at this age and at that time. I really don’t want to get old, either. Sometimes I want to stop time and freeze my family just the way it is but I can’t. Time moves on and we age. Things change and that’s a given. Change can be tough but it is one thing we can count on.
Another thing I failed to tell her is that I AM GOING TO DIE. I don’t know when or how but it will happen someday. Something I thought wouldn’t be appropriate at the time given her age and the circumstance. I have prepared for this. I have plenty of insurance to help take care of Stef and send the kids to college. I have set up my estate plan including a trust for the kids. I am prepared but just like her, I don’t want to grow old. I don’t want her to leave home. I wish I could freeze us in time but I can’t. So, I have faced facts and reality and I have planned for the future. I am no longer a child and I have responsibilities and children of my own so I consider planning for the inevitable a hard thing to face but a necessary one.
If I can help you and your family plan for the inevitable, plan to leave a legacy, plan to help take care of your children and grandchildren let me know. It would be my pleasure and a responsibility I take very seriously.
If we can help you preserve assets before major changes in the law we would be glad to do so and would offer a FREE consult to sit down and discuss asset protection. Give s a call to schedule your free consult today or schedule online at: mcelderlaw.com. For a list of local numbers to our offices see below:
- Charlotte: 704-749-9244
- Shelby: 704-259-7040
- Hendersonville: 828-233-5991
Please don’t wait ‘til it’s too late. Call McIntyre Elder Law today.
Greg McIntyre Elder Law Attorney
Elder Law Attorney