I’d like to take a moment and share some thoughts based on events that I see occur on a daily basis. Not more than 50 yards away from my Mesa office is a hospice facility, and the view directly out of my office window is the parking lot for this facility. Now, you’re probably wondering why on earth I want to write about the “oh-so-scenic” view that I have of a parking lot. Let me be the first one to tell you that I never thought a parking lot could give me so much food for thought as this parking lot does every single day.
May I tell you some of the things I see and watch in this hospice parking lot? I see families – lots and lots of families – that drive up together and all walk in together. Flowers and plants are typically the items I see visitors carrying into the facility. You would be amazed at how often I see people give each other hugs and kisses in the parking lot. And this probably goes without saying, but the fact that I see so many things occur in the parking lot means that a lot of visitors come to the facility every day.
So now let me tell you why those things I mentioned cause me to stop and think. The reason I practice estate planning over any other field of the law is because it all boils down to family. Our clients, and I would assume most people in general, plan their estates because they care about their family. I love helping my clients provide and protect assets for their loved ones. Sure, estate planning has other aspects to it and I know there are clients out there who plan solely for tax benefits, but when someone ends up in a hospice facility, all the planning that was done before really pays off for the family. All the time spent planning quickly becomes well worth it. While we can’t always plan what will happen to our health, we can plan our estates so that if health becomes a factor everything will already be in place.
May I tell you some of the things that I don’t see in this parking lot? I never see someone pull up towing a boat or other recreational vehicles. I have yet to see someone walk in with a big-screen TV or electronic gaming device. I’m still waiting to see someone carry in a briefcase full of cash that is handcuffed to their wrist.
While I may be slightly facetious in those comments, I also speak the truth. There is nothing wrong with owning or using any of those items I mentioned. But the truth is that life is so fragile, delicate, and precious that when the end of life is near, none of those items are even a consideration for someone admitted to or visiting a hospice facility. There is a reason that there are so many hugs and kisses in this parking lot, at memorial services, and at funerals. Family is what is important in the end, and its times when we’re seeing someone at the end that we recognize just how much we love those who have surrounded us during our personal journey through life.
So while most people wish for a spectacular office view of the bright lights of the city, or the ocean, or some beautiful landscape, you’ll find me here enjoying the parking lot view from my office because, after all, it’s hard to forget what’s important when you see it happening every day.
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