I was thinking today about how blessed I am to be in a business that often allows me to form close bonds with my clients. By its very nature, financial planning is about “life planning” and is focused on what is most important to each person. We help our clients make plans about their children and putting them through college;  help them plan for retirement and often discuss how they might continue to help their spouses, children and grandchildren when they’re no longer here. We talk about caring for their aging parents and about life and death, but mostly we talk about the people they love and how to best care for them.

On Tuesday I attended the memorial service for one of my clients. She was a friend long before she and her husband became clients. He has been gone several years now and she died on March 7th. She was 94. Five months ago when she was diagnosed with cancer she was given about two weeks to live. I went to see her every week, each time thinking it would be the last. As weeks dragged into months she occasionally would say, “I was supposed to be dead in October! I wonder why God is keeping me here?” Our weekly visits were kind of like my “Tuesdays with Morrie” experience. We had been friends a long time and she had lived many years. I liked to go and listen to her in hopes of gleaning some life wisdom from her before she was gone. In a way it was therapeutic for me. Many times as I sat with her I thought of my own Mom who was taken so quickly from us several years ago. I wish she was still here so I could sit and listen to her. My friend talked about her husband and her children. She talked a lot about her faith. She often acknowledged how blessed she was to have so many people who loved her. The only time she mentioned any of her belongings was to make sure her family and friends got the things they wanted from her possessions. She wanted me to have a small glass basket she had gotten at a yard sale. She said it was her favorite. She offered her clothes to me and I had to smile to myself at the thought of me wearing a 94 year-olds clothes. Never-the-less, she offered them with practical and loving intentions. One time as she was reminiscing about her life and her marriage she said, “There is one person in life for each person to love.” And then she looked me right in the eye and said, “I mean REALLY love! For me, that person was Bill (her husband). But we really weren’t very well suited!” My take away from that was no matter who you fall in love with, I suppose there will be times when you feel like you’re not very well suited for each other. But that doesn’t discount the love that is there. The last time I saw her, I kissed her and told her I loved her. And with a very big smile she said, “Oh… I love you too!” She died four days later.

I was her friend and her financial advisor. I know she looked to me for friendship and guidance, but in the end it was she who was the teacher.

 

Linda Eden is a Registered Principal offering securities through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Legacy Wealth Management, LLC and Cambridge are not affiliated. Cambridge does not offer tax advice.

Copyright ©2013 Linda Eden. All Rights reserved. Commercial copying, duplication or reproduction is prohibited.