Twelve years ago, I never thought I would write a book about organizing. But then, life happens and circumstances change. A personal tragedy involving the loss of life, personal information, and property lead to a book. This book.
An early morning house fire took the life of my 32-year-old nephew Shayne. His death propelled me to leave my job and home in Houston and return to my hometown in central Illinois. I had lived in Texas for 27 years, so the move back to Illinois involved immense soul searching. After seven months of …
reflection, I knew I wanted to spend more time than just a holiday weekend or family reunion with my elderly parents. So, I packed up my stuff and loaded everything into a U-Haul. I said goodbye to friends and family and hit the road for what would become this new chapter in my life.
The fire destroyed or covered in soot almost everything in Shayne’s house. Not only were we dealing with the grief of losing Shayne, but also the daunting task of settling his estate. The condition of his personal records and possessions made this task even more difficult. This tragedy was the catalyst for me to start a business to help others reduce the stress and confusion inherent to major and often unexpected life changes.
My professional work in Texas involved managing large and efficient accounting and financial systems and processes. Going through Shayne’s house and records, however, made one thing abundantly clear.
Having an organized system in place is one of the most loving and generous things you can do for your family and friends.
With my mother’s blessing and encouragement, I set out to create a book to catalog important information. In my research, I heard countless stories of others who experienced surprises (some good, some sad) and frustration when having to deal with moving, downsizing, disability, and even death. Each chapter of the book starts with one of these stories. Although I received permission to use these ‘call to action’ stories, the names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals.
With this book, you can start anywhere. Start with a chapter that intrigues you and/or feels more comfortable. This Lifetime Legacy Planner is yours to help document your wishes so they are respected and your legacy preserved.
“Because sooner or later, we all run out of time …”