Who Will Pick Up Your Pieces?

by Chloe Jeffreys · 13 comments

in Sandwich Generation

It all began when my car broke down in the middle of the night hundreds of miles from home.

Car-being-towed

For those of you just tuning in, I’m a labor and delivery RN, and for the past year I’ve been working as a traveler. A traveler is a nurse who contracts out to the highest bidder a hospital of her choosing, typically for 13 weeks at a time.

The best part of being a traveler is FREEDOM! Anyone who has known me for long knows that I love me my freedom. I’m like the William Wallace of nurses, without the kilt. Personal and professional freedom are integral to who I am. I need it like I need air to breathe.

Being a traveler means freedom to choose when, where, and for how long I work. It means freedom from office politics, freedom from administrative banality, and freedom to care for my patients without getting sucked into the minutia that drains many nurses of their joie de vivre. But, best of all, being a traveler means that when my contract ends, my job is over. I go home and live the life of a lady who lunches until the next job.

The Price of Freedom

While I do love the freedom I have as a traveler, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that there is a price for it; primarily, predictability, security and the ability to call someone to rescue me at a moment’s notice when my car breaks down in the middle of the night.

Thankfully, my husband had the foresight to get me roadside assistance insurance when I started traveling. One phone call had me fixed up in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. Sort of. My car is still in the shop and I’m tooling around in a crappy little rental waiting for it to get fixed, but, overall, what could have been a catastrophe has turned out to be nothing more than an expensive inconvenience.

Life is like that, isn’t it? One minute we find ourselves riding high, the next we’re blindsided by some unexpected event that might be merely inconvenient or devastatingly catastrophic.

Like Mother, Like Daughter?

Living the life of a vagabond has made me think a lot about my mother. She also insisted on dancing to her own tune, and the older I get the more like her I become. This is both good and bad.

There was a time when I admired my mother’s refusal to be ordinary, but when catastrophe came in the shape of Stage IV colorectal cancer I ended up feeling very resentful that she’d left it up to me to pick up all the loose ends of her life. Damn, but I don’t want to do that to my own children. I’ve been wondering what I can do to make it easier for them.

The Circle of Life is One Cruel Bitch

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but seeing as I am a nurse and all, I feel it is my sworn professional duty to inform you, dear reader, that, you and me? We’re gonna die. Probably not today, hopefully not tomorrow, but definitely someday. All of us.

Many people–maybe most–possibly me–take this dire and depressing news of their impending demise and dive deeply into denial by pretending death will never happen to us. But it will. And more and more I’m left to wonder, “Will the people I love resent me for the mess I’ve left for them to clean up?”

How to Take Care of Your Family When They Have to Take Care of You

I come from a very superstitious people who believe that making arrangements is an invitation to disaster. But the truth is that you and me are going to kick the bucket whether we make any plans for it or not. By not making these plans we’re not holding off the dark angel of death; we’re just screwing over our loved ones who will be left behind to pick up the disorganized pieces of our lives.

Having lived the nightmare my mother created with her own piss-poor planning, I’m concerned about how I can help my own kids when they find themselves having to clean up after me.

Would Your Loved Ones Even Know Where to Begin?

When my mother got sick I had no idea where her important papers were. I didn’t have the passwords to any of her accounts. Hell, I didn’t even know where her accounts were!. So, as my mother lay in a coma in the ICU, my brother had to go on a wild drive hundreds of miles away to the courthouse in the county where she was born to get a copy of her birth certificate so we could secure her Social Security and Medicare benefits in the event she actually lived. Talk about stressful! It was a nightmare.

And that’s the truth of it. Our lack of planning doesn’t protect us from anything; it only creates a stressful burden for our loved ones. That’s why I was very excited to be asked to become a brand ambassador for a terrific new virtual safety box called Estate Assist Safe.

You and I both know that I do precious little sponsored work because so few brands or products are worth my time or energy. Estate Assist Safe is worth both.

What is Estate Assist Safe?

Estate-Assist-AmbassadorDoes your family know where to find all your important documents? Even more daunting, do they know where to find all the passwords to all your online accounts? If you’re anything like most everybody, you aren’t keeping all of this essential information in one easy-to-find place. Estate Assist Safe is that safe place.

Estate Assist Safe is an easy-to-use, terrific new online service where you can securely store all your important financial, digital, and personal information–including all your passwords to all your online accounts–that can be managed, and updated at any time. Not only is it a virtual safety deposit box where you can store both virtual and hard copies of your critical information, but you can easily share this information with trusted loved ones now, or when the unexpected happens.

Whether protecting valuable assets, or keeping your most important documents organized, Estate Assist is the life planning solution that helps prepare for tomorrow, today.

Is Estate Assist Safe Secure?

If you’re anything like me, your first question is, “Is Estate Assist Safe, well, safe?” All of Estate Assist’s solutions are guarded by proprietary Estate Guard Security technology. Estate Assist Safe uses bank level 256-bit AES security standards in order to ensure personal and financial data and documents are stored and transferred to and from Estate Assist safely and securely.

Estate Assist Safe1

And just in case, your Estate Assist Safe is also backed by a $1 million Estate Guard Guarantee. In the event that user data on Estate Assist is compromised, the company will spend up to $1 million for breach recovery

Why Estate Assist Safe?

Both of my children are grown; they no longer look to me to take care of them. But they still expect me to take care of myself. One day, hopefully in the far distant future, they’ll find themselves worrying and wondering how they are going to take care of me, and it’s important to me to make that time as easy as possible for them. Using Estate Assist Safe is one way I’ll still be able to tell to them “I love you” when I’ll no longer be there to say the words.

#EASafe

I hope you’ll join me, along with the rest of the Estate Assist Safe team, for a Twitter Chat every Tuesday in October at 7pm PST, as we explore this important issue of planning for the unexpected. You can RSVP here. There will be prizes. You like prizes, right?

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Sisters From Another Mister October 5, 2014 at 6:37 am

This being a grown up thing is quite hard …
Another thing to consider … is who owns your blog, your writing and will they know how to get into it?
Brought up by the lovely Anne Zuraw at TypeA … if you don’t know her, she is a financial advisor for women, and has a blog called Chicks, Chat and Change … she is delightful – good friend of Lynns.
When will i see YOU????
Sisters From Another Mister recently posted..The Magic NumberMy Profile

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Chloe Jeffreys October 9, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Hi Girlie! It is an issue. I assume my husband will own my blog when I pass. Or my kids. And once the hosting fees aren’t paid anymore off this blog goes into the vapor.

My Dear, I have no idea when we’ll see each other. I’m not spending money on blogging conferences in the foreseeable future. Hopefully it’ll happen again someday though.

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Kim Tackett October 3, 2014 at 1:41 pm

I really believe that getting our finances and papers in order is one of the most loving things we can do for our family. My parents have done it for us, and in turn, we’ve tried to do it for our own kids. It means I know what my parents want, and we can use our time and energy loving on them, rather than stressing over the administrative stuff (that also costs money, when not done). My folks have even done their funeral slide show (and they update it every years…the short and long version).
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Chloe Jeffreys October 9, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Kim, it truly is an act of love. I cringe when people say, “Oh, I won’t be there so who cares?” What a selfish outlook.

Thanks for coming by!

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Lois Alter Mark October 3, 2014 at 12:43 pm

This is great info even though no one wants to deal with this kind of stuff. Yes, I guess we are really grown-ups now. Sigh.
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Chloe Jeffreys October 9, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Lois!! Hi! Yep, this being a grown-up really isn’t all that fun, is it? Who wants to think about death and incapacity? Sheesh! That’s not very fun. But think about it we must.

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Jack October 3, 2014 at 11:34 am

Sounds intriguing. I’ll have to check it out.
Jack recently posted..Is Life A Series Of Coincidences Or Do Things Happen For A Reason?My Profile

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Chloe Jeffreys October 9, 2014 at 10:01 pm

I hope you do. I have so many accounts spread out everywhere. And my mother’s issues are still very fresh on my mind.

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Lisha Fink October 3, 2014 at 6:37 am

I’m going to check out EASafe. Because we’re still cleaning up after my in-laws.

And you could rock a kilt. Just saying.
Lisha Fink recently posted..The Big OMy Profile

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Chloe Jeffreys October 3, 2014 at 9:36 am

Hey Lisha! I found out last night that I wasn’t following you on Twitter. How this travesty happened, I haven’t a clue. But it’s fixed now!

Anyone who has ever had to clean up after a loved one knows what a nightmare that is. I understand all too well why people never get around to it. It seems there is ALWAYS something to do instead. Making it easy is a good start to making it happen.

And thanks about the kilt. Although I really would rather see a man in one. As a fan of the Outlander series I must say that I’ve grown a marked taste for the look.
Chloe Jeffreys recently posted..Who Will Pick Up Your Pieces?My Profile

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Nora Hall October 3, 2014 at 10:36 am

You raise thoughtful and important ideas. Will look into EASafe!

Thanks,

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Chloe Jeffreys October 9, 2014 at 10:01 pm

Nora, thank you!

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