Imagine one morning waking up to find that your mother unexpectedly passed away during the middle of the night. Now imagine reliving that horrible experience again 14 months later when your father dies from a terminal illness. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but that has been my (and my five siblings) reality for the past two years.
The grief and pain of the loss of our parents is severe, but it doesn’t stop there. Not only have I been emotionally devastated by the loss of my parents, my siblings and I were torn apart because no one in our family had the financial resources to take on the responsibility of 6 teenagers, and so we now all live under different roofs.
Most families have the luxury of their older teenagers moving out after they begin attending college or find a job where they can support themselves, but that didn’t happen to us.
I often think about what would have happened if my parents had planned for their—and our—future by purchasing life insurance.
I often think about what would have happened if my parents had planned for their—and our—future by purchasing life insurance. Would I still be living with my siblings? Would we be in a financially stable situation so that we could stay together and support each other in our life and college aspirations? I know my life would have been better with life insurance, but I can’t change the past, I can only change my future.
Like my mother, I plan on going to college to be a nurse. I have to do this on my own. I have to work to put myself through school, and it is going to be tough, but I am determined to be a nurse and have a better future. Nursing classes are not easy. Anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and biology are just a few of the challenging classes I will be taking. Being 17, attending college full time and working is going to be hard. Every day I worry how I will manage to pay for basic necessities like rent, food, and utilities.
I don’t want to come across as feeling sorry for myself. I’ve cried enough tears for a lifetime. I’m a survivor, and I know that there are many other people in the world who are worse off than I am. I want to be a nurse to help people; to heal people. I also want to be a nurse because it will provide me and my future family with financial stability. Now that I know better, I can give my future children stability by purchasing life insurance to give them a better chance at life should something happen to me.
I hope that when I finish college, I can move my little brother in with me and put him through college. Both of us know that we need education to become successful adults. When he is older, I am going to tell him to get life insurance too. Thank you for this opportunity to share my story. I hope that other people can learn from my experience.
Editor’s note: Hanna received a Life Lessons Scholarship. You can help students like Hanna make their dream of a college education come true by donating to the nonprofit Life Lessons Scholarship fund. Donate here.