Just sit right back and I’ll tell you a tale, a tale of the best life insurance kind. It’s not about the money per se, but spirit in which it’s left behind. All planes come down and all trees eventually fall, but the love you leave behind is what’s remembered by all.
I grew up hungry. That’s just how it was. It was as much a part of my life as going to school, playing with friends or mowing the law was. I didn’t really know that there was any other way. We would sit at the dinner table with a limited amount of food and when it was gone, we were done. It was typically as large a meal as breakfast, which was a slice of bread and some honey. Well, we knew that Mom tried, so we never complained.
In the course us kids growing up there came a point when we realized that other kids’ bellies weren’t twisting in knots like ours often did. It was the day we were invited to Thanksgiving dinner at the Jensen’s place around the corner. There was no way that our little stomachs could have anticipated or been ready for the feast that was set before us. Because we were used to the limited quantities our eyes grew wide at the spread of pies and nog and mashed potatoes and turkey and candied yams and all the other prizes that awaited our little tummies.
Well, we soon learned just how unbridled desires can lead to great displeasure. We ate just about everything put before us like we’d never eat again. The Jensen father suggested we go to the hospital to get our stomachs pumped. We were groaning in pain, too occupied with our dire plight to care what they did. We just wanted it to stop. It was that experience that helped us to realize that the small daily pain we suffered with was much more preferable than the ripping pain of overeating.
Well, the reason I bring this all up is to show you how keenly acquainted we all were of the feeling of hunger. It was largely this state that led our father to leave part of his life insurance money behind for the us to use to make sure our children would not go hungry once we grew up and had our own families. I’m not sure Dad ever really expected us to share that with those outside the family, but that’s just what we did.
Because times got better and after entering out teenage years we all began jobs we were able to save the money Dad left the family for a rainy day. And that rainy day came one evening as we sat around our own table one year for a bounteous Thanksgiving meal.
Mom asked us to each share one thing we were thankful for before we ate. We each shared just how grateful we were for food. I shared my gratitude for the mental clarity that came with a well fed belly. My sisters said that food helped them to be in a better mood and how much easier it was to treat others lovingly. When all were done, we sat quietly and just looked into each others’ eyes. It went unsaid, but we all were thinking the same thing: Now that we have, let’s give so others can share in our blessings.
Mom finally broke the silence by bowing her head and saying grace. When all had said amen Mom shared that we would use the money from Dad’s passing to feed a family each month. The blessing of hunger and of Dad’s insurance money was more than any of us can say. The best kind of life insurance is the kind that can feed the hungry. And that’s just what we did.