A couple of weeks ago, I sat down on the couch after supper in anticipation of turning off my brain while sitting snugly against my husband for the rest of the evening.
It was not to be.
While he stoked the fire and the kids washed the dishes, Dave asked, “Are you ready to talk about some things you don’t like to talk about, my love?”
I knew it would have to be something about money. Usually, these talks involve mortgage rates, rental properties, tightening our belts, and so on. Or, these discussions may involve a new idea to generate income (and more work)…or a way to spend our current income that has nothing to do with the new couch, new paint or vacation to the U.P. that I envision.
I held my breath for a few seconds, then s.l.o.w.l.y. exhaled.
Dave handed me a couple of papers. I scrunched my eyes shut in anticipation of the horror, then timidly peeked at what was in my hand.
I couldn’t believe it. It was worse than I’d imagined.
“Rough Plan in Case of Injury/Death 2016”.
Yeah, that’s what it was titled.
And, no, Dave wasn’t talking about my possible death. He was talking about his own.
In spite of my relative surety that my husband will die, the topic is not one of my most comfortable. I immediately felt a lump in my throat.
Dave patted me on the leg, smiled clear up to his eyes and asked, “Are you ready?”
For the next forty minutes, I listened to Dave walk me through our various insurance policies, mortgage debts, insurance costs and rental properties. He also outlined a proposed budget of sorts that recommended how I could spend survivor benefits to my greatest advantage with the goal that I could still stay home to raise our children. He made suggestions as to what properties to sell first and their approximate worth, noting the reality that one would possibly be a loss. He estimated my monthly expenses down to the cost of buying firewood. He knows that chainsaws scare me. On a shoestring budget, we would be able to live debt-free in the house Dave built ten years ago.
I can do shoestring budgets.
We have also recently updated our wills and powers of attorney. To the best of our ability, we have provided for our children in case the unthinkable happens.
Because the unthinkable happens every. single. day.
I am not sure what prompted Dave to do all of this right now. He is a fair amount older than I am, so maybe it’s his age. Maybe he heard something on the radio that triggered his desire to get all of this out in the open. Maybe it was a result of all of the cancer diagnoses that we hear of so frequently. I don’t know. I do know that, in all of its discomfort, it was a beautiful gift to me. One of provision, hope and preparedness.
Toward the end of our discussion that night, our oldest daughter came in and heard what her daddy was saying. She looked directly at me, and asked, “Why is he talking about all of this stuff?” With glassy eyes and a smile, I replied, “Because he loves us and wants us to be prepared for every situation.”
We are guaranteed nothing beyond this moment. I am so thankful for a man who loves me enough to confront me with the ugly truths of life in a way that shows his beautiful commitment to our family.
Here’s another thing that gives me peace: My husband knows Jesus as his Savior. I will get to see him again some day. There is immeasurable comfort for me in that.
As he concluded our discussion that evening, Dave pointed to the bottom of one of the pages and said something to the effect of, “And, if I die by accident, you get additional dollars, so hope that I go in an accident.”
I might have smacked him.