If Only I ...
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If Only I ...

By Larry Richardson, Training Director, BC

I am blessed to have a family I love, a job that invigorates me, good people to work with, clear challenges to conquer, and a plan to succeed. But what happens if life throws a wrench in my plans?

Over the past 18 months, my wife has developed a close relationship with a colleague whom we’ll call Sarah.

Sarah had the perfect life plan. After recovering from a failed marriage and the financial stresses that can occur late in life, Sarah was going to sell her home in Langley, move to the beautiful interior of BC where her daughter lives, buy a modest home, and enjoy her well-deserved retirement. She was going to retire on December 21, 2018. She had made her plans in the two years following her divorce and things looked very good.

But just days before her planned retirement, Sarah received the difficult news from her oncologist that cancer was in her lungs and liver and there was no cure. The cancer was inoperable and they gave her 3-5 months to live.

Sarah has never said, “If only I hadn’t worked so hard, not sacrificed for my kids, not supported them when they were a little more broke than I was …” She is glad to be able to find love in her children and friends, have respect from her colleagues, and have many people to enjoy her last days with.

If only she didn’t have to leave so soon. She had planned to enjoy the next couple decades helping her girls raise their families, but instead she’ll leave them with a financial legacy. Due to her careful planning, Sarah will leave her kids unburdened from having to make complicated decisions and preparations.

Wisdom from Sarah: find a job you love, and do what is important to you and excites you. Plan for the future, but know there are no guarantees in life. And cherish the time you have with your loved ones.

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