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One Year Down and a Lifetime To Go

 

This month marks the first anniversary of losing my dad (May 12, 2020).

My dad suffered a massive stroke at age 64 in September of 2006 that left him paralyzed for the remainder of his life. I go back to the day he had a stroke in my mind asking myself. Did I miss something? Could I have done more? It was a typical day at Bowthorpe Insurance. He had been to the office and worked a full day. After work, he even stopped by my house to drop of something before he headed back home to Heber City. He was home for a short time before my mom came home from teaching school and asked if they should go to my brother's baseball game. My dad had slurred speech and couldn't respond. My mom dialed 911 and they sent an ambulance. They rushed him to the Heber Hospital, where a doctor did a few tests and called for a life flight. He was then transported to LDS hospital in Salt Lake City, where he spent the next three months. It was clear from that day that his life would never be the same. He would never come back to the office. He was paralyzed on his left side and insulin-dependent diabetic—a new dad and a new life for my mom and the rest of the family. I had been blessed to work with my dad for ten years, learning the insurance business. Suppose you have ever wondered why I am so passionate about Medicare. I knew it firsthand, helping my dad navigate his care and treatment options. My dad turned 65 years old in the hospital. He was too young to suffer a stroke.
 

Do you know the signs of stroke?
 

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. If you or someone you're with may be having a stroke, pay particular attention to the time the symptoms began. Some treatment options are most effective when given soon after a stroke starts.

Signs of a stroke include:

Trouble speaking and understanding what others are saying. You may experience confusion, slur your words or have difficulty understanding speech.

Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm, or leg may develop sudden numbness, weakness, or paralysis in your face, arm, or leg. This often affects just one side of your body. Try to raise both your arms over your head at the same time. If one arm begins to fall, you may be having a stroke. Also, one side of your mouth may droop when you try to smile.

Problems are seeing in one or both eyes. You may suddenly have blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes, or you may see double.

Headache. A sudden, severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness, or altered consciousness, may indicate that you're having a stroke.

Trouble walking. You may stumble or lose your balance. You may also have sudden dizziness or a loss of coordination.

Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stroke/symptoms-causes/syc-20350113

Dear Dad,

I think about you in the quiet times of the day, looking back on our time together on this earth as a beautiful dream. Early memories of you teaching me to ski, bike, ride ATVs and snowmobiles, fixing all the things we broke. I hear your voice coming down the stairs on a Saturday morning, rustling us out of bed for projects and jobs that needed to get done. I hear you laugh as you share a good story with a friend. I see you plowing snow-covered roads in the early morning so that the neighbors can get out of their driveways. I remember the many times coming into the garage where you had spent so many hours with your hands dirty, saving a dime but giving up your time. You believed in me, taught me to drive a stick shift car, throw a ball as good as the boys, and be a competitor on the court, win or lose. It was always about playing the game fairly and giving our best effort, you helped me to be a friend to many and a leader among my peers. You made me want to serve others because I watched you serve your whole life. We worked together to build an insurance agency. You enjoyed the time with people helping them and making a little money along the way.

As the years wore on, life gave you an unexpected stroke, stealing away your freedom to do what you loved in life, work, fish, and hunt, explore the great outdoors. Today, projects lay undone, and your workbench gathers dust. But your mind and your voice were not taken away. We loved you fiercely, with a new sense of loyalty and realization for what was almost lost. We wheeled you to ball games, carried you and that darn wheelchair up and downstairs, fetched you Diet Pepsi, and shut the door to keep the cold air out. We spent time, real-time together. I hear you still in our prayers over Sunday Dinner and see your bright blue eyes light up when we come in the door. It's been a year now since we said goodbye on this earth, but I feel you still in the quiet times of the day. I hear your words and see your face in my mind. You are smiling, and laughing, and working on a new project. And I know your spirit is free again to do what you love. But, I miss you all the same. 

Happy Mother's Day

I can't share my dad's story without sharing about my incredible mom. I am so grateful for my mom, Annette Bowthorpe. She cared for my dad as his primary caretaker for fifteen years after his stroke. While caring for my dad, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She endured chemo treatments and still insisted on taking care of my dad. She has now endured a second bout of cancer and endured chemo treatments for the past year, which she began shortly after losing my dad. My mom is one of my heroes. 

My mom had a childhood of heartbreak and loss, losing her dad at age 13. She turned those early life lessons into teaching opportunities as a kind and compassionate kindergarten and preschool teacher to children.

She is a fantastic listener. She is the first one I call to vent or ask for advice. Her home and her heart are always available to any child, grandchild, or neighbor in need. I love you, Mom. I am genuinely in awe of your fortitude and courage to keep battling when the trials & challenges of life seem so heavy. And to all those who have lost moms, who are moms and still hope to be a mom, my heart and prayers are with you—there is nothing more fabulous call than to be a mom. 

The Referral Challenge continues……


For May, every friend/family member you send to me, I will send you a $15 gift card to Target.


Standard Rules Apply: 
-Referrals must be new clients to me
-There is no limit to how many gift cards you can earn 
-Keep those referrals coming!

 

Thank you to everyone who has helped me grow my business, I couldn’t have done it without you!

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