Archive for the Insurance Category

Free Range Chicken

Posted in Animals, Birds, Comedy, Family, Fun and Entertainment, Humor, Insurance, Musing, Pets, Traveling, Video Clips with tags , , , on March 21, 2015 by Morguie

God Bless the folks at Geico Insurance! We fell in love with this ad, which we noticed for the first time earlier in the week. It is so sweet, the cute way they portrayed this lovely Buff Orpington hen, as she took in the sights and sounds from her perch in a box car.  Sure makes us miss our good little buff hens…if only just a little.

Have a great day all!

If I Died Today — My Music – Song #1

Posted in Children, Death, Eulogy, Family, Funeral, Grief, Inspiration, Insurance, Legacy, Life, Loss, Love, Memorialization, Mourning, Music, Nature, Planning Ahead, Pre-planning a service, Relationships, Remembrance, Tradition, Video Clips with tags , , , on August 2, 2014 by Morguie

 

 

<<This post is part of my series, ‘IF I DIED TODAY.’ Posts in the series are presented with the hope that we can prepare ourselves for our own eventual end-of-life issues before the end comes; so that we may have peace of mind for ourselves and our loved ones may be undistracted by our personal worries. Let’s be allowed to enjoy the final days together, to the fullest.

 

Such preparation now frees us in many ways, from the very anxiety death creates in us.  Let’s start the conversation and quell our fear.>>

 

hearnoevil

 

 

 

 

Some may wonder if I have a preoccupation with my own demise… in short, I do.  I realize this topic of preparing for death, any death, is taboo to a great many.  And, it seems so clichè to say ‘death is a natural part of the life cycle’ — but it is.

 

Over the past month or two, several (at least 6) of our friends / family have passed away — which makes death a frequent target of rumination, for me personally. Our share of losses has been extraordinarily high in number and in some cases, shocking in the unexpected suddenness.  

 

When I was in mortuary college, one of the assignments in the funeral arrangements class required each student to draft an arrangement of their own funeral.

Image credit: funeral directors Johnny Moller and Debra Ott Moller with the following message: My new wife and I are both funeral directors in Des Moines, Ia and these were our bar napkins at our wedding in June. - See more at: http://connectingdirectors.com/articles/44508-the-perfect-wedding-napkin-for-two-funeral-directors#sthash.854SNA13.dpuf

Image credit: funeral directors Johnny Moller and Debra Ott Moller with the following message:
My new wife and I are both funeral directors in Des Moines, Ia and these were our bar napkins at our wedding in June.
– See more at: http://connectingdirectors.com/articles/44508-the-perfect-wedding-napkin-for-two-funeral-directors#sthash.854SNA13.dpuf

 

 

It was all hypothetical, of course, because funeral directors don’t actually die. Just like doctors don’t get sick and dentists don’t get toothaches…

So I went a little “exotic” and made my service a wilderness-themed affair…this is due to my love of the outdoors and fond childhood memories of summers spent in the Big Sky country of Montana, fishing in the glacial streams, etc. I wanted to be buried inside my Dodge Ram pickup truck – no need to get a box for me (spankin’ new at the time…with all the bells and whistles…a real sweet set of wheels I was crazy proud of), my body positioned in driver’s seat...interred at a place near the Beaverhead  or Big Hole Rivers.  I know…I am a bit of an odd duck. But, it was a ‘fantasy’ funeral, so I went with the whimsy of it and made it as colorful and extreme as I could. It would be the stuff that legends and folklore were made of. EPIC. I had a ball imagining the logistical nightmare my fantasy funeral and burial might create…those engineers were going to have fun digging the hole in that tough, rocky, rugged timberline! I was going to be a royal pain in the ass all the way to the end!   Alas, it was all purely fictional. Nobody in class had come up with anything  remotely as brazen or bizarre as my plan. Ha!

1995 Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup - April 2, 2011

PLOP ME RIGHT HERE, I’M TAKING THIS BABY WITH ME!

 

 

 

HOWEVER, it wouldn’t be impossible to do. I would simply make the inquiries and get an idea of the money and permissions it would require and get the hard part taken care of well before-hand, as is proper and rightly my responsibility to handle…

 

Speaking of which…there really isn’t any excuse to leave the financial burden on your family if you plan well. That’s the reason they make life insurance policies…buy one that will cover the bases of your death expenses and any debt you’ll probably leave…more units if you have a dependent family to cover. The coverage can be adjusted after children grow up, etc.  The emergency of an unexpected death may arise anytime. Death is something we all must accept; we’d be wise to get these details taken care of as early in our adulthood as possible…it is the biggest gift to your loved ones you can give. SECURITY.   *** Also, for new babies (children or your grandkids) buying a policy may be a very wise fiscal decision which may give them available cash for college later. Those Gerber Grow Up Plan policies are very affordable, too. *** 

 

That is the whole point of celebrating a life…customizing a memorial service that uniquely befits  and reflects the person’s way of  life. It should be meaningful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cartoon of the worst possible thing to say at ...

Cartoon of the worst possible thing to say at a funeral. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I cannot help but laugh now at the idea of myself, riding down in my pretty truck…half-figuring I might be headed out on the Highway To Hell…considering that I typically drove like a bat out of hell…yippee- ki-yi-yay!

Back then, it would have been an ideal tribute to the way I lived my life and the adventurous, ‘fearless’  hot mess  I was.  I have tamed down quite a bit from those heady, wild-child times, regrettably. Downright mundane, now.

 

Since my life has evolved and changed over time, I tend to be more realistic now when it comes to making any preferences and instructions for the handling of my own funeral. The tribute made in my honor is meant to comfort those I leave behind…it really isn’t mine to enjoy, so they ought to opt to do  as they wish, and I’ll ensure that the funding is provided via those life insurance benefits I have in place. It still doesn’t mean any of it should be boring, sad, or lackluster! I want a GOOD good-bye…there were too many struggles and hard times in my life,  I really expect to get off to a positive start in death, if you please!

 

Services are made up of various components — readings of religious or spiritual passages, eulogies, rites, music — are some common elements.

 

Anybody who knows me well, as my daughters do, knows music has been a real passion of mine. From the time my girls were very small, they’ve been acutely aware of my love for singing to the radio or to the songs in my vast array of tapes and CD‘s amassed over the years. Once, while we were on a day-trip, one of them exclaimed, “Mommy must know the words to a thousand songs!”   Actually…probably more like a couple thousand, I figure. Music  has always been a life force with me; it would be odd if it weren’t part of the end of my life, as well.  

 

I have a compilation of my favorite tunes recorded to a CD for just this occasion! I keep it where my self-written obituary and policies and stuff are safely put away. Of course.

 

Today I’ve decided to share one of my ‘designated’ songs that might be played; my way to send a heartfelt message to the folks I loved. I felt the sentiment in the lyrics were spot-on,  explaining my hoped-for legacy to leave behind…

 

 

 

I hope you enjoy Miss LeeAnn Womack‘s pretty song  “Something Worth Leaving Behind.”  (By the way, I selected some upbeat music, too, which I will share in future posts of this series)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do YOU have any favorite songs which speak to the way you feel about how you’ve lived life or the personal legacy you hope to leave behind?

 

©2014,Colleen S. Thompson.

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day–Dedication to My Daughter, Holly

Posted in Death, Faith, Family, Future, Gratitude, Grief, Hope, Inspiration, Insurance, Kindness, Life, Loss, Love, Mourning, Parenting, Philosophy, Relationships, Thought For Today, Wisdom with tags , , , , , , on May 11, 2014 by Morguie
JJ, Noodle, Harley and Holly  Christmas 2013

JJ, Noodle, Harley and Holly Christmas 2013

hollysfamilyMar3120121

Taken days after we were advised of Baby Noodle’s medical conditions and prognosis, MAR 2012

Happiest Mother’s Day to all who are moms, or have been like a mom to a child.  I am dedicating this post to my daughter, Holly. She is a mom with so much strength and love! Holly is my first-born baby girl. She was (still is, actually) affectionately called “Holly Dolly” by everyone as a baby. She makes this mom so proud! I have to tell you why she really is so great in this mother’s eyes — Holly is mom to 2 boys… Justin, whom we call “JJ”, and Nate, better known as “Noodle.”

JJ is a kindergartener. He is such an angelic boy, and a real hit with the ladies. ALL the ladies. He is 6 going on 22 where flirting with the women is concerned! 😉 He is going to be a heartbreaker, I think.

Little Nate, our ‘Noodle,’ is a charmer, too. He is just too cute and cuddly. He is extra special, little Noodle.

 

I, better known as “Grammie,” got to be there in the delivery room with mom and dad as mom gave birth. He is almost 3 now. Grammie won’t lie…the birthing process seemed to be going well. But then…Noodle started having trouble getting out. I took one hand and Holly’s hubby, Harley, had her other and we all worked to push, push, push Nate through. The doctor seemed to be moving in slow-motion as the baby’s head remained firmly stuck in the canal…I felt my heart jump…I was afraid. Then after several long seconds, very long seconds, the head came but it took another 90 seconds to get the first shoulder out right behind. Then, finally, the baby was out. But he wasn’t moving. He didn’t cry. They rushed him to the bassinette and a nursing team went into action, an ambu bag employed to suction him. Someone radioed down for a specialist to assist…after a few moments, as I turned to face the corner to pray and beg God for a good sign, the baby sputtered and choked out a cry. They rushed him away to put him in the nursery in an oxygenated incubator. All seemed to turn out okay. Sort of.

 

Months passed, and Noodle seemed to be a colicky boy. He flailed his arms and legs most of the waking hours. Then he started exhibiting signs he had a seizure problem. He was taken several times to the Emergency Room at the hospital, when he’d have seizure-type events. My daughter was terrified. We all became worried when he didn’t make any progress with the normal milestones…not sitting…couldn’t even roll over or hold his head up. Her pediatrician insisted he was fine. But he certainly wasn’t. It took months of red-tape and ball-dropping on the part of the medical insurance and referral people who refused to realize he needed to be seen STAT, by a neurology doctor.

 

After five months, a consult with a specialist down in Los Angeles, finally came. What was only going to be a consultation turned into the worst nightmare. The neuro doctor, who is a teaching specialist for the Adventist healthcare system (read a superior professional in his field), told us they needed the baby to be admitted immediately. He was going to have to run a battery of tests and MRIs and scans, etc.

 

My daughter fell to pieces with terrible worry and angst. I was so worried but tried to encourage her and support her through this awful day.     It threw a real kink in life. She had to call her husband…his work gave him a lot of shit about trying to get the day off to come down to L.A. to be with Holly and I while we waited through the night in the infant intensive care unit. He was able to come. The two of them tried to get a little sleep in their car.  It was two days later when the doctor called and requested for us to come for an extremely important conference, to learn about the baby’s condition. The three of us were terrified. Holly, and Harley and I went in. This ‘conference’ was major. There was a full medical team of probably 6 or 8 specialists and other support personnel there.

The neuro doctor began to tell us what would become the most difficult news ever. Noodle had a catastrophic and incurable, serious problem…the doctor ran through his monologue. I sat stunned. I was experiencing utter disbelief. Shock? My heart shattered. The seizures were actually infantile spasms. They discovered he also had cerebral palsy plus a rare and life-threatening type of epilepsy…the very worst kind. This was due to a malformation of the underlying structure of the brain which holds the 2 halves of the brain together…the corpus callosum; actually it was almost non-existent. It is responsible for connecting and enabling the right and left brain to coordinate and communicate, etc. The doctor was pretty upset that my daughter’s pediatrician and insurance put off and seriously delayed urgently needed attention…the five months she had struggled to get the referral was inexcusable; he even hand wrote letters to that effect. .

 

He said he doubted that it would have changed the outcome, however. This part of the brain was affected in utero…around 5 months’ gestation. It wasn’t genetic. Not metabolic in origin. They just didn’t know how or why. My daughter took perfect care during pregnancy. Wouldn’t take caffeine, tylenol. Nothing. Yet…there are people who use drugs, smoke crack, and indulge in alcohol and cigarettes…why are their babies okay? It isn’t fair.   But, at this medical conference, the words that spilled from this neuro doc seemed to all be very dismal, terrible, and negative. He said the baby would be severely disabled…forever.  Probably never walk. Not talk. Not be able to be a normal little boy at all. He would forever be like this.  He would start receiving 3 or 4 different types of therapies. He would have to be given medications which would damage his already  poor eyesight. Perhaps leave him blind. He would need intensive medical attention from now on. He would need to have surgeries. He has as much as a 30% chance of dying before he turns 10 years old. I fell apart. The kids looked glazed over. They were trying to take it all in. I think they were in shock. There were specialists now in charge of coordinating his care. I asked the social worker and the counselor if there was anyway they could help find a way to accommodate my daughter and her husband…they had no money for hotel. The hospital, White Memorial, was superb in immediately providing them on-campus boarding and food.

 

I asked if there was ANY positive to this whole prognosis. The doctor was pretty straight-forward and honest with us. This was going to be a life-altering situation for the kids and JJ. When the conference was over, we all left to go into the waiting area until the baby was released. We cried. We were numb.

 

Then, I went home alone; a 75-mile trip, full of utter despair and non-stop tears. I was angry at God. Wait…I decided there wasn’t a God. I went home and told my man the horrible revelation.  I sobbed like I never sobbed in my life. I screamed and hit things, telling God how awful I thought this was of Him to allow to happen to this innocent, beautiful baby boy. I begged God to allow me trade places with my precious Noodle. I’ve lived my life. I had no need for more. I couldn’t lift a burden this onerous from my poor child…I could not remove this suffering and pain from her and Harley. I decided no God would allow such an aberration. Why!? I demanded and prayed and begged for an answer. I needed to understand WHY this was happening. I needed an answer and a good goddamned reason for this. I cried for three solid days. I cannot tell you how painful that week was…emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I wanted to stop breathing. I wanted that baby to have my life. He deserved nothing less than a chance to be a normal little boy. He’d done nothing to deserve this! The burden remains in my heart…the depression…the true grief of this. The joy had been extinguished from life as far as I was concerned.

 

 

My daughter is so special. She has had so much to bear. Terrible angst and many, many trips in ambulances for seizures that got worse. The multiple therapies and appointments. Yet, she managed somehow to stay with her University of Phoenix coursework to become a teacher.  She will graduate, getting her Bachelor’s degree June 14.

 

She is selfless and completely focused on those kids and her husband. They have only really begun life at 26 years of age. And this. Forever a world different from any they had planned to make as a family. Yet the love is abundant. They have mastered the art of handling this. I cannot tell you in any words…the pride. I so admire them both for their ability to make it through these storms and keep  upbeat attitudes; that all will be okay, somehow. So much love between them.That’s my  little girl…so hard to believe. Awesome. Happiest Mother’s Day, Holly Dolly. Mommy loves you so much! You are my hero. You amaze me. God Bless them. And every other family who has so much adversity to address in life. You are beautiful. And…utterly, completely AMAZING.

God, please, if there might be a spare miracle floating around? Would you remember to think of Nate? In the meantime, I’ll hang desperately to my hope. No one can take that away from me. After all, anything is possible, right God? And God…thanks. Thanks for letting us have our beautiful Nate. We are so grateful to have him in our lives. We are learning a lot from him.     ©2014, C.S. Thompson.

My Oldest Daughter, Holly and her sons--- Baby Nate and Justin 2012

My Oldest Daughter, Holly
and her sons— Baby Nate and Justin
2012

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ALERT—BBB Warns of Funeral E-mail Scam

Posted in Cemetery, Death, Funeral, Funeral home, Funeral Service Professional, Grief, Insurance, Loss, Mortuary, Mourning, Tragic death on January 31, 2014 by Morguie

 

Better Business Bureau sent a warning today:

We hope that no one gets mixed up or confused by the tactics the bad guys are always trying to perpetrate on the vulnerable… NEVER click on suspicious links or give out any personal information! Please take a moment now to ensure your devices are protected with up-to-date anti-virus and anti-malware programs. There are many good, FREE utilities if you do not have one actively protecting your system.

Stay safe!

Web browser

Web browser (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • BBB Warns Consumers About Fake Funeral Notification

BBB Warns Consumers

About Fake Funeral

Notification

 

Tyler, TX – January 28, 2014 – Better Business Bureau (BBB) Serving Central East Texas is cautioning consumers about an email notifying recipients about a “friend’s” upcoming funeral. The email further instructs the recipient to click a link to view more details about the invitation and the ceremony.  BBB is advising consumers that this is a bogus invitation intended to download malware to the recipient’s computer.  If installed,this malware may connect the infected computer to a botnet and install further malware.

 

BBB contacted the funeral home, who indicated they were aware of the malicious emails, but were not aware where they originated. It is believed the individual(s) sending the emails hijacked what sounded like a trustworthy business name. The company has since placed a notice on their website.

 

Impostor scams can be conducted by email, phone calls, or at your door. Scam artists pose as companies, government officials, nonprofit organizations, and friends and relatives to gain access to your financial dataor personal information— sometimes installing malicious viruses on your computer along the way.

 

“Although impostor scams are nothing new, they are becoming more sophisticated ”, said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas. “One common thread with many scams is the attempt to evoke emotion – fear, excitement, and in this case, alarm and compassion – so that the potential victim does not make logical decisions,giving the schemer access to the information they are seeking.”

 

BBB suggests the following tips for consumers to stay safe online:

  • Protect your computer and your personal information from malware with a firewall and an anti-virus program; update those programs regularly.
  • Update your operating system and web browser software regularly.
  • Protect your passwords. Keep them in a secure place. Create passwords that have at least eight characters and use numbers, symbols and letters. Do not use the same password for each online account that you have.
  • Back up important files.
  • Never click on links or download attachments from individuals or organizations you don’t know.
  • If you received this email and clicked on the link or downloaded attachments, your computer information may be compromised. Immediately run anti-malware and anti-virus programs, forward the email to ic3.gov, and contact a reputable computer repair technician to further examine your computer for issues.

For more tips on how to be asavvy consumer, go to bbb.org. To report fraud or unscrupulous businesspractices, call the BBB Hotline: (903)581-8373.

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