That Boy Scout Motto…

July 18, 2014

You know, Be Prepared. You’re going to think Simon and I are a little weird and morbid, but every year on our wedding anniversary we talk about death. Do we dwell on it? No. Do we talk about it for more than about 20 minutes? Nope. But knowing Simon has a heart condition and knowing that I’m a detailed planner, it only seems natural (for us) to discuss the “what-ifs”. And we always take a trip for our anniversary, so we have plenty of kid-free time to have fun yet incorporate this talk. We even spend about a minute discussing who we would want the other to remarry. But read that again before you think we’re adulterers- one minute. Then we move on with our life, our health. and our love for each other.

This is a rant on preparation. I told you it was coming. I especially want the young, healthy whippersnappers to listen up. This is your big chance to realize you’re not immortal and you could make some small changes now that could secure your future family’s well being if something unforeseen happens. This is not a comprehensive list, but it’s what we have found to be helpful and practical for our scenario.

1. Life Insurance

Buy term life insurance. The more assets and dependents you have, the more you will need. Call your current insurance agent or ask friends for a referral. My dad nagged Simon and I to each get policies when we had our first son. I thought it was just ridiculous having someone in our home weighing us, poking us, and making us sign tons of medical records release forms. Main point: I won’t be rich but I won’t be homeless if Simon leaves us to go party in heaven. And stay-at-home parents: even though you may not work, you need life insurance, too. If you die, the other parent will need to secure childcare and schooling for those precious babies. I know this isn’t fun to think or talk about, but DO IT ANYWAY. The younger and healthier you are, the less this will cost you financially.

2. A Will

I couldn’t tell you why we both felt an overwhelming urge to have a Will drafted last year. We spoke with a local lawyer and he helped us create a simple Will with medical wishes, asset allocation, and caregiver instructions for the children. If something were to suddenly happen to both of us, we have our wishes spelled out legally. We personally know more than one family who faced tragedy and then had horrible legal issues with custody and assets. Tragedy, death, and grieving are awful enough. I can’t imagine compounding that with any more drama. And a Will is only a start. If you own a home or property, you need to take it to the next level with a Living Trust. But just start with the Will to make me happy.

3. Secret Stuff

Sharing your passwords, financial information, and other secret stuff is a general no-no. But you need to share it with someone you trust. A spouse, a parent, a sibling, a close friend etc. Do you want the government to have your money and assets? Probably not. Make sure you have beneficiaries named for any accounts you have – checking, savings, retirement, investments. Let that beneficiary or other trusted person know where your money is held and what debts you have. Tell them where they can locate your social security card and birth certificate. Don’t have copies of those? Get copies. If you die or become disabled, your friends and family will be emotional enough. Do you really want them to also deal with a hot mess of a paper trail because you were ill-prepared?

4. Keep Working

When you die or become permanently disabled in this country, your spouse, dependents, or named beneficiary (parents, siblings, etc) can receive benefits and your retirement. But this is factored on how long you have worked and how much you made. You don’t need to be a gazillionaire or work 100 hours a week. But choosing not to work specifically because you just don’t feel like it is irresponsible towards the ones you love. If you don’t work for other reasons, like child rearing or being a student, refer back to #1. This will help your family tremendously.

5. Your Final Wishes

This is the most unfun of them all, so start this one when you’re still healthy, if possible. We’re dealing with this now and it’s rough. But it’s important and it matters. When Simon leaves us, whether it be soon or many years from now, we want to make sure we honor and respect his preferences. We have talked about final resting place, the style of the service, pallbearers, and more. I KNOW. This. is. hard. stuff. to. talk. about. I hate it. It makes me cry, dry heave, and cry some more. *dry heaves*

Sorry if this post was mean or boring. Actually, I’m not sorry. It has to be talked about. Grieving stinks – it can take so much energy and focus. Make the other stuff easy for the ones you love so they can pour their hearts into happy thoughts and warm memories.

P.S. Jesus. Yep, I said it again. As Christians, we believe in heaven and life after death. Sounds strange but it’s spelled out in the Bible. That’s why we’re filled with hope, even in the face of loss. It’s a lot to wrap your mind around so pick up that Bible or going to a local church to get started. It’s equally important to Simon and I that we make it clear to ya’ll that we have faith in the big picture and in God’s plan for all this. Do we wish none of it was happening? Of course – we’re human. But it IS happening. And God is making it clear He is in control and He has the ultimate preparations taken care of.

End rant.
Here’s a pic of us from our first anniversary in 2005.



  1. Kyli on July 18, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Thank you very much for sharing. Very good stuff and well spoken. Continued prayers.

  2. Erin on July 18, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Hard topic, but necessary.

  3. Bev on July 18, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Good girl, Kristy. Hard to do, but I’m sure it will affect many.

  4. Linda Manley on July 18, 2014 at 8:45 am

    You and Simon are wise beyond your years….none of us know when “our time” will come and it is important to know things will be taken care of the way you want. It is also a comfort to those left behind not to have any more stress and grief making preparations for their loved one. Hopefully, Simon will be around long after I am gone, but I continue to pray for him and your sweet family daily.

  5. Becky Bates on July 18, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Kristy, praying God’s peace and extra blessing on you today. You are practical and lots of fun, not everyone gets both! 😉

  6. Shelly Davidson Sizemore on July 18, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Beautiful and inspiring post! Praying for y’all daily!

  7. Kelly Galea on July 18, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Go Kristy! Go Kristy! Everyone needs to hear that, regardless of age, health, etc! Working for an insurance agency, I can’t tell you how many people thank my husband for insisting they “start somewhere” with life insurance when something unexpected happens…. And you say it from the heart… If becoming a writer isn’t in your future, you’ve definitely got a future in insurance! 😉

  8. Susan Gaines on July 18, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    I love you so much! I love it when you ask people to do just the minimum it takes to make you happy. It’s that imaginary tiara.

  9. Erin Rodriguez on July 21, 2014 at 9:33 am

    You always keep it real and that is exactly why I love you all! Prayers! Love you!

  10. Emily on July 21, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    I don’t know you, but I know your sweet sister in law . Just wanted to tell you that I think you are awesome, wise with words, a trooper, and a banner for our Lord. There are extra stars waiting for you in heaven. Thanks for being bold and vulnerable to share your story with us. It blesses me. Praying for your family!

  11. Amy Bullock on July 22, 2014 at 9:28 am

    I’m always encouraged by your blog. Mostly from the part when you tell every reader about Jesus being our God and Him being in control. I too am a (born again) Christian. Your loving advice will not go unnoticed. Your strength can be attributed to the one and only creator. Amen for that! God bless you, Simon, and the whole family.
    In my prayers,




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