Friday, May 1, 2009

death and taxes

So I signed a will today. Soon after Kristen's cancer took a turn for the worse, back in 2006, she and I went to a lawyer together to write our wills. She went first, the lawyer asking questions, her answering. During my turn, when I answered with her name for more than one of the questions, she looked at me like I was crazy, as if to say "but I'm the one who is going to die." We knew that she would probably "predecease" me, as the lawyers love to say, but as we all know, nothing is certain. And if, by some chance, she were to survive me, I wanted to be sure that she was first in line for the things that I owed her. 

The kind lawyer had Kristen's will done in a jiffy, but mine got buried. He sent it to me to look over shortly before she died, a year later. I tucked it away, unable to deal with it at that moment, and by the time I pulled it out again, it needed to be rewritten. But despite that flash of insight that I had had in his office with her about the uncertainty of life, I once again put it back in the pile, as if to say "I'm not going to die. I don't need this."

I am going to die. Hopefully not right away, hopefully not in surgery or from anything related to cancer at all. But I am going to die, and I don't know when or how. If I care about my children and what happens to them when I die, which I do, very much, then I need to have a will. It has taken getting cancer myself to make me act upon this. 

And what made me sign up for that mammogram, despite feeling almost certain that I would never get breast cancer? I don't know, but right now, I'm urging you women out there who are over 40 and haven't had a mammogram to get one. As a friend said recently, I'm the poster child for Mammograms at 40. And write a will while you're at it. Having a will is a way to show love and respect both for yourself and for those you love. These things aren't fun, and they can be hard to face, but they are important.

I'll try not to twist my ankle as I step back off my soapbox...

1 comment:

  1. oh how i agree about the wills. and the mammogram, too. i just turned 36 and i've been thinking i ought to make myself an appointment. you're pushing me on in that direction.