Sunday, June 2, 2013
Back home in Bellingham Lin had spent the many nervous hours of my climb with her Sisters. They walked a waterfront path, pausing to sit at a bench dedicated to their Father (one of my Angels). She burned her cellular minutes well into overage, calling my Mother, calling Noelle, taking calls from others seeking some kind of update on Ty and I.
I had seen my Attorney before leaving on the expedition. We updated my Will and reviewed the disposition of beneficiaries. I drafted letters to my Boys and described my wishes for any Memorial Service that may follow. Recognizing the extraordinary value of life insurance, in this particular instance, I purchased the maximum allowable from a number of providers. A full questionnaire was typically required for coverage over a certain level so I was careful to buy up to, but not over, this amount. Any inquiry would smoke out what I was up to, and I already knew from past experience that an automatic rejection letter is generated for Climbers with a history of exceeding 17,000 feet.
Though I refer to Lin as my "wife" we are not legally married, so it was necessary to provide for her in the event of my demise. Feeling it important that she know the details of these provisions, I had sat Lin down and gone over the sums and sources of what would become hers if I should die. She was very uncomfortable with this. We barely got through the conversation.
One of the many things I love about Lin is her willingness to be quirky, even random. One such quirk is her belief that the disposition of one's toilet paper roll has some baring on whether they will come into money; paper unrolling from the top brings financial windfall, paper unrolling from the bottom blocks such providence. And so it was in this unique circumstance, the life insurance money, my struggle above the South Col, that Lin realized she could protect me from home with the simple act of reversing the toilet paper roll in each bathroom. She did so, and I am here today to write about it.