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.

Liberating the captive. Sounds like such a war phrase or something. Like someone was captured during a battle and then imprisoned for many years and then rescued through a reconnaissance mission. Well, I guess as a metaphor that’s what I want to talk about. No one was behind physical bars, but when Dad passed away he did something that freed me from bondage perhaps worse than the slammer.

When I was growing up I never really connected with my parents. We never really talked about anything important. The closest we got was, “Hey Dad, pass the carrots?” Yeah, I know, not that deep, right? Like I was saying, we weren’t really that close.

Well, it must have been about Jr. High, my 8th grade year that I made a friend who changed the course of my life and not for the better. It was such a new thing to have someone who liked to be around me, who invited me to go places, who gave me attention. Well, while I craved a sense of belonging and this friend filled that need, I didn’t realize just where that desperate desire to fit in would take me.

Two days into our fall break I was hanging out with that friend behind his house in their barn and he pulled aside an opening in the wall. The loose board removed revealed a paper bag. He pulled it out and opened it up. He reached into the bag as he looked at me and said, “I have got to show you something.”

Well, to make a long and painful story short and less painful, the thing he showed me that day was a pack of cigarettes. It began there, my addiction to nicotine. Over the next couple years I moved onto other drugs with that friend until one day I realized that it was eating my life away.

I tried so many times to stop. My parents suspected I think, but never brought it up. I hadn’t talked with them when I was younger, and I wasn’t going to start now. They wouldn’t have understood. Or so I thought.

My dad passed away my senior year in high school. It was after everything died down from the funeral and such that Mom asked if she could talk with me. We sat at the kitchen table and she slid an envelop across the table to me. I opened it and read a letter from my father. It detailed how much he loved me and that he knew about all the things I was struggling with. He left a number of a friend of his I could call if I wanted. Included was also mention of life insurance money that Mom would use to pay for the treatment I needed.

I didn’t know what to say. It was the first time I really felt loved. Not like my friend had loved me by introducing me to drugs, but like, really loved. I looked at mom. With tears in her eyes she smiled and said, “We love you son.”

Well, I took Dad’s gift and have worked through many emotions that I kept hidden for so long. I was able to get off the drugs and now have an amazingly open relationship with my mother. It all started with a little love and the best kind life insurance money could buy, the kind that liberates a captive son from prisons of addiction and sorrow.

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