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The Most Profound Article I’ve Ever Written

I've been writing since 2001. I had an idea- to start a newsletter for our clients in 2001... and have been writing ever since. Newsletters, articles, blogs, even a book, "Tales from the Chestnut Tree." If you've ever tried to write an article, say a page long, you'll know or find out how hard it is. Part inspiration, part perspiration, the inspiration part comes when, well, whenever it comes. It not like I can just "spit out an article" when asked- there must be a reason or something to get my mind into the place it needs to be to bring out the story in me. I'm amazed when I hear songwriters say they can write a song that makes a zillion dollar in an hour or minutes... the words come faster than they can write. Unless you've ever written something, it's hard to fathom how the inspiration comes. Hence this column, that I've been writing for you since 2006- I write when the inspiration comes, from whenever and wherever it comes from. When my Grandson Derek was born, a Valentine's Day with my beloved Elizabeth, a tragic news story on the 6:00 news... it comes when it comes.

I enjoy watching the Sunday morning news shows with Elizabeth and my dog, Murphy. We find it to be high quality family time. We watch, discuss what we hear (Murphy is very vocal), debate the ways of the world, and learn and marvel, or cringe, at the many things we see. We talk about how it affects us personally, and the effect it has on the entire population of the world. It's a time that I feel very close to these two beings I love, and they listen and respond in their own way with their own opinions. Funny, I really think Murphy knows what I'm saying, his facial expressions passing along to me his opinions and thoughts in only a way that he can... and I understand him. Communication is the most important part of love and without communication and respect, I think any relationship is doomed for failure. So, the three of us coexist together, listening to each other with communication and respect. Even Murphy has the right to be heard when he has something to say...

This past Sunday on CBS This Morning with Jane Pauley, she interviewed singer/songwriter Jon Mellencamp. Now 65, he's been a part of our music life for most of our lives, changing his name as it fit him as he evolved into the man he is today. Living in his hometown in Illinois on his 86-acre farm, it's the one place he called "the best place on earth to be for me." He smokes like a chimney and doesn't drink or do drugs he says, and this lifestyle- his lifestyle- has toned his voice to where it is today. While I found the interview very interesting, he said the following which left me short of breath...

"I'm 65 years old. How many more summers do I have left?"

I looked out the window, over at Elizabeth, down at Murphy, and realized I had just heard the most sane, logical, reasonable, and truly most real, soul piercing statement I've heard in... well... longer than I can remember. It cut right through me, and immediately made me think about there being a Summer without me. No flowers for me, no golf, no sunshine, beach, lazy day, and most importantly, no more Elizabeth and Murphy and the family and friends I love. I can't bear the thought of there being no new Summer to frolic, to live, to write, to love, to experience. I left the breakfast table to write this article, to capture how I was feeling at that precise moment. Happy, sad, lost, scared... more words and feelings that I could put into this small page of life.

I write to you month after month, year after year. I implore you to get your estate planning in place-now- to save, invest, vacation, retire... lord, I can't think of all the things I've tried to help you with. So here it is... if you haven't seen a professional to help you get your finances in order, I'm not going to hold back. You don't know if there's going to be another summer in your life. Don't wait. Now is the time to work on your finances... you may not make it out of the next snowstorm. Can I be any more clear?

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