Protection has been a part of my family for over 100 years. I just knew what it could do and I believed it in my heart. I fell in love with life insurance. Go figure-- a 22-year-old falling in love with life insurance. I started in this business 35 years ago.
Early on, I bought some whole life insurance. You have to own it, if you're going to sell it. In 2000, my husband and I joined Guardian. We loved it. We loved our work. We kept adding disability and life insurance, and then eventually long-term care insurance.
We had done everything we possibly could to take care of our family. There was just kind of this sense of peace. But then my life turned upside down in the blink of an eye.
November 14, 2014, I came down the stairs, and Paul was sitting in a chair in the living room. He wasn't breathing. I was in shock. Everything is coming at you so fast and furious, and there's a fear, because-- are you really going to be OK?
I knew that I had lots of life insurance-- that Paul had lots of life insurance. The boys and I were trying to come up with what we could do as a memorial for their dad. And these stained-glass windows just represented who he was-- very bright, very happy, very colorful.
About 6 weeks after Paul passed away, it was Christmas Day. In the evening, we were driving home from my parents', when a woman crossed the center line and hit us head on. My aunt-- she died 2 weeks later from the injuries.
My tailbone was displaced. I had a fracture of my lumbar spine. My ankle was broken in 2 places and my left foot was crushed. That set off something that's called complex regional pain syndrome. If I did the dishes, that maybe was all I could do in a day.
Fortunately, I've been able to tell my kids I'm going to be OK. We're going to be OK. Paul and I had the maximum life insurance that we could get. We had maximum disability. My days were spent going to pool therapy, nerve blocks, exercises.
My brother is now taking over my business, and I've officially retired from Guardian on December 1. I can't imagine what people go through who haven't planned, who have never thought about buying life insurance, and never been asked about buying life insurance. It works exactly the way it's supposed to work. I know. I know. I'm living proof of how it works.