One of the many reasons that Estate Planning is so fascinating is that everyones life is a Story. To create the optimal estate plan, it is importantalmost essentialto learn That Persons Story. Details like where one grew up, how (s)he met their spouse, how did (s)he choose their lifes work, what ones kids are likeall of these richly unique details help to bring about an Estate Plan which is a true reflection of ones own values, personality and legacy.
The more stories Ive come to know, the more that Im convinced that major, life-defining events sometimes grow from small, minor, random, accidentaland sometime mistakenhappenings.
Heres an example of Life Happening Out of a Mistake:
The year was 1970. On a local college campus walked a college sophomoreserious in purposefocused upon his educationallowing himself some extracurricular time by joining the college concert band. As his sophomore year progressed, he was occasionally met between classes by an unusually friendly, terribly cute young woman, who always greeted him with a sweet smile and a bright hello whenever they passed. As the term continued, the young womans smiles and greetings became invitations to join her and her roommates for coffee and cards in their apartment.
Not quite understanding the reason for the young womans exceptional friendliness, but rarely able to resist this unexplained level of feminine attention, the young man finally agreed to meet the young woman and her roommates at their apartment. Knocking on the door, the young man again was greeted by what had now become the familiar friendly smile, except this time, there were additional words:
Theres someone Id like you to meet, said the Smiler, whereupon she introduced the young man to another woman, who, after greeting and taking one look at the young man, dropped her face on the floor with disappointment. Confusion and nervous discomfort became palpable among the three (along with some whispering between the two women), until the Smiler took the young man aside to apologize:
Im so sorry. My disappointed roommate here had asked me to invite a boy named Joe from the concert band for coffee and cards, because she thought he was cute and was too afraid to invite him over herself. She just told me that the boy she wanted to meet was Another Joe from the band and not youIm so sorry.
Rather than send the young man away, the Smiler tried to make a thoroughly uncomfortable situation a bit better by inviting Joe in, pouring him some coffee and just sitting and talking. These two college sophomores slowly but gradually learned that they really liked each other, and eventually the young man summoned enough courage to ask the Smiler on a date.
That date, October 23, 1970, was the first date between the woman who eventually became my wife, and me.
Its amazing that one evening of being the Wrong Joe has led to a friendship of 42 years, a marriage of almost 37 years, a law practice of 26 years and a family with two adult, college educated childrenand everything in between but thats how random life is, sometimes.
Speaking just for myself, being The Wrong Joe was The Best Mistake that Marianne Flood ever made.