We Thought We Had a Lifetime

We Thought We Had a Lifetime

Kiristen says that her mom, M’Linda, is her role model: a strong independent woman who always wants the best for her children. That hasn’t been easy, though. Kiristen’s dad, Kenneth, died in a boating accident when she was just 4. On that fateful day, this young family’s world was turned upside down.

“My two parent, two income household was no more,” says Kiristen. “In the blink of an eye, my brothers, sisters and I were fatherless and being raised by a grieving single mother with a modest income.” While M’Linda and Kenneth had talked about getting life insurance, they never followed through. As M’Linda says, “We thought we had a lifetime to do that.”

It didn’t take long for the financial hardship to reach their day-to-day life. They found themselves forced to move homes when they could no longer afford the rent. And Kiristen remembers many dinners consisting of hot dogs, as it was what they could afford some weeks.

Over the years, Kiristen has studied hard and is excited to go to college with the hopes of becoming a doctor. Given that the family has lived paycheck to paycheck, it has been hard to save for college, so after-school jobs and financial aid will help Kiristen on her path. “While something devastating happened, it’s not going to stop me from achieving my dreams,” she says.

As she has gotten older and her mom has shared more about the financial struggles they faced, Kiristen now understands that “life insurance would have given my family stability. It not only gives you peace of mind, it provides for your loved ones after you are gone.” M’Linda echoes that sentiment with this advice to other young families: “Don’t wait to get life insurance. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.”

You can help students like Kiristen make their dream of a college education come true by donating to the nonprofit Life Lessons Scholarship fund. Donate here.

A Dream Lost

A Dream Lost

My parents moved to this country to live the American Dream. They wanted to make something out of nothing, so they bought a convenience store.

When I was just 12, my mother had to deliver the news that my father had been killed while pursuing that dream. This missing link in my life hurt my family both emotionally and financially. I grew up without feeling protected. I lost all sense of hope for a while, wondering how my sister, mom and I would get by.

On top of all this, my father’s lack of life insurance really made my family struggle.

I know my father loved us, but the financial burden we faced was too much to bear. It became common to have to say “no” to buying many of the things we needed.

My father’s death made me realize how short life can be and how we should strive to do the most we can every day we’re above ground. I’m now valedictorian of my class, and my dream is to go college and become a pediatrician.

Life insurance is essential. Accidents happen, and life truly is so short. To ensure the security and safety of your families, please invest in something that can last and be your legacy.

It Changes Everything

It Changes Everything

My father was my role model. Whatever he set his mind to, he was able to accomplish. That’s how he built his two companies, with the goal of providing rural areas with internet.

His death at 44 changed everything. Even though I was just 12 at the time, I knew nothing would ever be the same.

My father left behind little financial support for my family and no life insurance. We were on our own to struggle through the difficult times. Our family’s strength crumbled, and our finances grew in disarray. There were times we had no electricity or water because we were so far behind with our bills.

When I hit rock bottom, I knew it was only me who could turn things around. That’s why I’m working hard to pursue a degree in computer science and engineering.

What I’d like to say to you is that the death of a parent changes everything. Because my father didn’t have life insurance, I didn’t get the luxury of being a child anymore. I had to grow up quickly—too quickly.

Life insurance can’t bring a parent back, but it can make the road afterwards easier for those left behind.

A Valuable Lesson I Learned

A Valuable Lesson I Learned

My mother was my best friend. She was my mentor and my companion. Despite the 400 miles between my school and hometown, we remained close and spoke every day about my new experiences as a first-year college student.

Then came the morning of Parent’s Weekend. I was excited to hear that my mom was arriving, but instead I received a call from a state patrol officer. My mom had a heart attack in the car and had been rushed to the university’s hospital. Later that evening I held my mother’s hand as she took her last breath.

The months that followed have been the hardest of my life. In addition to the extreme emotional, intellectual and physical turmoil that comes with the loss of a parent, I was caught in a very difficult financial situation. My mom didn’t have any life insurance, so the financial burden of her death fell onto the shoulders of my brothers and me.

I was forced to move out of my college dorm room and get a job that offers housing and a meal plan, as well as a job serving tables to pay for school expenses and bills. I work 50+ hours a week while attending school full time. Now I worry whether I’ll be able to afford school next year.

The experience has taught me a valuable lesson. While we could never prepare for the profound emotional pain of losing a parent, we could have been better prepared for the financial burden. Life insurance would have eased the transition of life without my mother by taking the financial weight off of our shoulders.

Using My Trials as Stepping Stones

Using My Trials as Stepping Stones

Most of my childhood consisted of hospital waiting rooms, bad cafeteria food and doctors’ names I couldn’t pronounce. I became inevitably involved with my father’s illness at age 9. I gave shots and dosed medicine. Not the definition of a “daddy’s little girl” others would expect, but that was my childhood.

My father’s illness took his life when I was 11, leaving behind his wife and five children. Soon after, we woke up to the bitter realization of our deteriorating financial situation. The burden that was placed on my mother’s shoulders is one that nobody should have to carry alone. If my dad had had life insurance, it would have taken away the constant financial worry.

I’m now the only child in my family to have graduated from high school. And although the financial struggle to go to college continue, and I will use my trials as stepping stones and my education will be the foundation on which I build my life.

I wish I could say it better, but I can’t form a sentence that expresses how much my family >would have benefited from life insurance. Although setbacks have struck me when I am down, I’ve found that true failure lies when I stop trying. I refused to give up then, and I refuse to give up now.

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