5 FREE books!

We have added 5 FREE copies of the Missing Pieces Plan to the Family Legacy Video GIVEAWAY!

It’s keeps getting BIGGER and BETTER!

Now, when you enter to win the

MPP Legacy Family Video Giveaway,

(valued at over $2,500)

You will be entered to win a FREE book!

FIVE winners will receive a copy of Missing Pieces Plan!

ENTER HERE: www.missingpieceplan.com/contest

And… please share with family and friends! When you do, you’ll have more chances to WIN!

Sending love,

Jody

SaveSave

Weigh station up ahead!

Every time we take an extended car ride – long enough to be out of the city limits – there’s always something that reminds me of my Papa J, my paternal grandfather.

I think of him every time I see “weigh station up ahead” signs along the highway.

On our last road trip, seeing these signs hit me in a more tangible way.

I think of Papa J every time I see the signs because of a story I was told about him.

As we drove this last time, I tried to remember how I heard the story. Who told it to me? Did Papa J tell it to me? Or, did my dad? Sharing a story with me about his father?

I decided it had to be the later because in thinking about my Papa J, he wasn’t the “braggadocious” type. It didn’t fit his nature to share such a story. He was mild mannered and kind. So, so kind. I actually don’t remember him saying much. But, I do remember him always looking at me lovingly. He was the kind of grandfather you just wanted to run up and hug.

So, my dad must have told me the story.

Then, I wandered, do I know any other stories about my paternal grandfather?

The unfortunate answer is no.

As we drove, I could not help but wish I knew more about him.

The one story I remember, that I think of every time I see a “weigh station” sign goes like this… Papa J was in the home building business and he had truck drivers that would be transporting building materials long distances. Long enough to be on the highway where their load would be weighed. When one driver pulled through the weigh station, to have his load weighed, it far exceeded the weight limits. Apparently, it had rained and the load (I think roofing materials) had soaked up all the rainwater and became exceedingly heavy.

I remember the story being told with laughter – that this was a mishap, an unfortunate event. However, I do not remember an ‘ending’ or how this poor truck driver remedied the situation.

That’s what I think about every single time I see a “weigh station up ahead” sign.

My Papa J and the heavy load.

The story is what it is. And, I am grateful to be reminded of him when I am.

Yet, what I wouldn’t give to know more. To be reminded of him at other times – not just on road trips.

What if I could see him telling me the story?

Give the gift of sharing your stories with loved ones. I am living proof they will want to hear them.

Sending love,

Jody

P.S.

Whose stories would you love to have on video?

Right now, the Missing Pieces Plan is hosting a GIVEAWAY for a family legacy video. It’s valued at over $2,500!

Sign up to WIN! 

And let BOLD LIGHT Productions produce your family’s legacy video!

ENTER HERE: http://missingpiecesplan.com/contest/

Emmy…a true inspiration!

A few weeks ago, I met with Emmy and her husband, Frank, to work through their “Missing Pieces.”

Before leaving, she pulled out a book she created for her granddaughter. She’s created the same book for all her grandchildren. The book chronicles their lives, includes notes and prayers and overflows with pictures and…love.

What a beautiful expression of love to her grandchildren. What I would call a priceless gift.


I am sharing Emmy’s books with you today as inspiration. Whether you “go all out” as she has or just simply write a single note. Either way, the gesture is the same.

Love.

It doesn’t have to be hard or cumbersome. It can be easy to express your love, share your legacy.

Get #inspired. Spread #love. Share your #legacy.

Sending #love and #inspiration,

Jody

SaveSave

Here comes some….#inspiration!

 

A lot of Missing Pieces Plan stories I share may not happen to all of us.

But, one thing’s for sure, death will happen to all of us. As one recent article I shared stated, it’s life’s “one certainty.” (Read article here.)

Bummer, I know.

I know you’re likely tired of me bombarding you with this fun fact. But, here’s the message I want to share with the Missing Pieces Plan… accepting this reality will be a gift.

Yes, a gift.

A gift to you and a gift to your loved ones.

Here’s why.

When we can accept this reality, and realize that WE get to determine how we want to live out the rest of our days and beyond, I believe something clicks.

Something clicks in our desire to start dreaming, start planning and take hold of what can be ours to create.

I am hopeful that you’ll be excited (yes, I said “excited”) to do this ‘work’.

Without a doubt, you can leave how you die, what happens to your belongings and how you leave your loved ones up to ‘fate.’

But, why? Why do that?

Why, when YOU can be in charge. You can direct the ship.

Your ship.

As I have been doing more speaking engagements for the Missing Pieces Plan, I am encouraging listeners to think, dream, and create the life they want BEFORE even picking up my book.

Of course, I want you to buy my book ;-), but I believe it’s in the thinking, the daydreaming, the crafting of your wishes that you can then make your wishes “come to life.”

Thinking is not something we allow ourselves to do – certainly not in the context of ‘dreaming’ how we want our life to go.

But, I am giving you permission. And, a very good reason to do it. By planning how you want your days to go, how you want to leave (because we all will), you can begin to live your FULLEST life now.

How?

  1. Grab a journal.
  2. Envision you’re not here.
  3. And write the answers to these questions (as a start) …
    • What would you want that to look like? Everything from belongings passed down to how you want your family financially positioned.
    • What’s important for the remainder of your life?
    • How do you want to spend your last days if you fall ill?
    • How do you want to spend your last days healthy?

By planning before a crisis hits, we will be able to live out the remainder of our days on our terms.

“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in a magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. “The proper function of man is to live, not exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall USE my time.”

~ Jack London

This month, I hope to #inspire you. You CAN do this.

If you think you might need some further inspiration, sign up to receive updates on the Missing Pieces Plan Course, “Get Your Pieces Done,” launching in August, HERE.

Sending love and….#inspiration!!

Jody

​Patricia’s Story… “He pre-paid for the beer…”

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of speaking to a group of retired insurance professionals at their monthly meeting.

Prior to my presentation, one of my hosts shared a few details of her father’s service with me. It was such a fun story that I asked if she’d be willing to share it with me so, I could share it with you. I am grateful she said yes.

Here’s Patricia’s story of her father’s #celebration. May it give you some #inspiration or at the very least, some laughs.

My Dad was 93 when he passed away. He had not been up to par for about six months, but still getting around. He had five children. When he passed, my sister called me and said, “what should I do?”

My Dad had already gone to the funeral home in Savannah and arranged his funeral and had paid for everything and written his own obituary. He had also been to the cemetery, in Brunswick, GA., which is where he wanted to be buried along with my Mother and his parents and two ex-wives. It was a pretty crowded plot and a very, very old cemetery. He had left instructions of which church to contact for graveside services.

Next, he left instructions, and money, for a luncheon in Brunswick at an old restaurant that we would all go to when we would meet in Brunswick, from time to time to visit those that had passed. He also wanted us to invite some of his classmates that he kept in touch with. Before the service the priest asked one of my sisters, who are all these people that are buried here? She excused herself and said she would be right back she had to go help her Aunt. So, the priest looked at me and said, “well you are the oldest, you must know who all these people are in this plot.” I thought of a polite way to answer …since my Dad had been married five times and I didn’t want to get into that, I answered, “Well, Father, let’s just say we are not the Waltons.” He said, oh…oh…I understand. (It was sort of funny. You had to know my Dad…He did it his way!)

The service concluded with that song by Frank Sinatra. And all the family returned to the cemetery, after the luncheon and drank the beer in honor of Daddy…he paid, of course.

I’ll leave you with Patricia’s note to me…

“I was not aware that my dad had done all the things he did…it would have been nice if he would have shared this with us, as you said, “the gift of conversation” is special.”

Gift 1: Doing the pre-planning

Gift 2: “The gift of conversation”…talking to your loved ones about your wishes and plans

Want some help with pre-planning your celebration?

In the Missing Pieces Plan we have a Guide to help you pre-plan your celebration.

Today only, we are giving it to you FREE. Click HERE to get your Guide to Pre-planning your End-of-Life Celebration.

Want the whole book?

To order your copy of Missing Pieces Plan, click here: http://missingpiecesplan.com/amazon.

Sending love!

Jody

​How writing your obituary today could benefit you – and your loved ones

The benefits of writing your obituary today. Yes, today.

Write my obituary now, as in, today? YES! Here’s why…

A friend of mine recently told me how her mother made her sit down and write her obituary when she was twenty. Twenty! I love this! My friend wasn’t sure of her mother’s motives but I would guess her mom wanted to help set her daughter’s path. Maybe to help her see where she wants to focus her life? What she would want to be known for, life for?

What if I told you that writing your obituary today would help you solidify your values, craft your legacy and live now?

What do you value? Crafting your obituary, ‘the story of you’ in one column I believe, will help you solidify your values. To do this, let’s start by figuring out what is important to you. What your top 5 values? Examples of values are family, education, community, spirituality, health, etc.

What causes are important to you? A great exercise to determine causes that resonate with you is to take a newspaper and circle the headlines that speak to you. Notice if you feel outraged, compassion or indifferent. Circle the headlines that ignite a feeling inside of you. Then, identify what causes they relate to. This is an excellent way to find out what you care about.

If your “legacy” were summed up in one column, what would it say?

To me, by telling your story, you are crafting your legacy. How? Start my making a list of your accomplishments. Then, make a list of what you would like to accomplish in the years ahead. Finally, spend time writing your goals for next 5 years, 10 years,15 years. You get the idea. You now have a list of all you’ve accomplished, as well as, a list of what you intend to accomplish. You are crafting your legacy – what you want to be known for. By writing it down, you’ll have a roadmap to live your best life.

Speaking of your best life, reflect on the lists you’ve just made. Relish in your successes and accomplishments. And, I believe that by naming your future goals, you’ll likely accomplish those, too. Having a purpose, knowing what you stand for, and what excites and invigorates you, will guide you to live a fuller life NOW.

So, what if I asked you to write your obituary today? What would you say? What would you include? What do you want people to remember most about you? What did you live for? And most importantly, are you doing those things now?

Your obituary is your imprint on this world, your community, your family and friends.

Let’s make sure it reflects your values, is representative of the legacy you want to leave and encourages you to live your best life now.

Sending love,

Jody

Carrie’s story

Read Carrie’s story below:

In July 2003, my beloved grandmother was diagnosed with an aggressive, inoperable form of brain cancer, and it would ultimately claim her life less than 6 months later. She was only 72.

In the weeks and months leading up to her death, I noticed that those closest to her (her husband, her son, and her daughter – my own mother) held fast in their conviction that she would be healed. They encouraged her to never give up (she didn’t), to keep fighting (she did), and to just trust in God (she did this the most).

At the time, I was only 28 years old. Grandma Dolly and I were incredibly close. Since her husband often had to work until 9:00 in the evening, I would join her once or twice a week for dinner and girl time. I had not yet become a nurse, but had always been fascinated by medicine, so she and I would speak openly and honestly about her cancer and what was happening to her body…..usually over pizza and beers. She was the coolest. 🙂

One evening towards the end of October, she confided in me that, while she so appreciated her family’s love and support, she was frustrated that no one would let her talk about the end of her life and her last wishes. She knew that my faith was strong, but that I was also a realist and that talking about death didn’t intimidate me.

So, that night, we sat and talked for over an hour and planned her funeral, right down to the clothes she wanted to be buried in, to what hymns she wanted the congregation to sing. We talked about how she wasn’t afraid to die, but that she was worried about how her children and grandchildren would handle her death, as most seemed to think it wouldn’t happen. Most importantly, she thanked me for being willing to just listen to her and let her get it off her chest.

I happened to be eating dinner at my parents’ house when we got the call in early January. She had stopped breathing, and the Hospice nurse was on her way. We were at her house in less than 10 minutes. After the nurse officially declared her, my mom and my grandmother’s husband were in a state of shock and disbelief, not quite knowing where to begin. I pulled the list of my grandmother’s last wishes from my purse and shared it with them. They were stunned at first, and then overwhelmingly grateful.

Grateful.

They knew Dolly’s wishes. Thanks to Carrie.

If you need help knowing what to ask, the Missing Pieces Plan provides an entire worksheet on how to preplan your celebration.

Carrie, thank you for sharing your story.

Sending love,

Jody

Casey’s story

Today’s story is an excerpt from the Missing Pieces Plan. My friend Casey reflects on her father’s creation of a family foundation.

Excerpt:

It was the week of Thanksgiving. My husband, daughters and I were in Cleveland visiting my Mom, Dad, my brother and his family. Before the office closed for the holiday, my Dad asked me to meet him at work so we could talk. My Dad told me he wanted to start a foundation or some sort of charitable vehicle. He wasn’t sure what the options were; he just knew he wanted to formalize his giving. With 15 years of experience working in the philanthropic sector, I was eager to hear my Dad’s thoughts.

In that meeting, we talked about whether a donor-advised fund at a local community foundation made sense—lower overhead and less administration—or if he wanted a foundation for autonomy and reach. Knowing that we would need a mission, a clear idea from my Dad about what he wanted to support, I asked Dad what he had historically supported. I asked about what he cared about and who he wanted to help.

Based on what he shared, I researched the costs associated with donor advised funds and foundations. Then I went to work crafting a few different mission statements. I came back to my Dad with the results of my research, and we settled on a mission and structure.

We would create a foundation, which would receive an investment from my Dad as well as an annual contribution from our family business. We contacted a local lawyer with experience applying for non-profit status and began the paperwork. My Dad would be the chair of the Foundation. My brother, sister, and I would serve on the board. Fast forward a few months and my Dad suddenly died of a heart attack.

I sometimes wonder if Dad had a sneaking suspicion that he was not well. He had set the wheels in motion to create a foundation, and he put the finishing touches on his estate plan just months before he passed away.

Regardless of his possible premonition, I will be forever grateful for our Thanksgiving chat where my Dad shared his motivations for giving. Thanks to that, my brother, sister and I now direct the foundation’s resources to “support the efforts of young people who strive to improve themselves and the communities in which they live.”

My favorite part of Casey’s story is the fact that she and her dad had a conversation. Our legacies may not involve creating a family foundation. But the one thing we all can do is communicate our wishes for our legacy.

Our legacies don’t have to wait until we are gone.

They can be lived today.

By embracing this truth, we can step up the life we want to live and leave.

Today, I encourage to have a conversation with a loved one, a family member. What is important to you? In this life? And, when you’re gone.

I believe by just taking these small steps, we are moving forward – towards a more fulfilled life.

Sending love,

Jody

P.S.

Do you have questions?

I would love to connect with you!

My email is jody@missingpiecesplan.com or cell is 310-927-5345

What I wish I knew…

Gone too soon…what I wish I knew

Recently I asked a few dear friends to write down questions they wish they could ask their dads. Unfortunately, these dear friends lost their fathers way too soon. 

A lot of questions remain for all of them regardless of the amount of earthly time with their beloved fathers.

Here are some of the questions they wish they could ask:

  • What did you have the most fun doing?
  • What made you laugh the hardest?
  • What would you spend more time doing/less time doing?
  • What would you do differently?
  • What do you love most about yourself? And me?
  • When did you feel fearless?
  • What would we do together if we only if one day left?
  • What would you want me to know about your life and how it made you who you are?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • What’s the hardest thing you’ve done?
  • What’s your hope for your kids?
  • How do you want to be remembered?
  • What was it like the first time you met my mom? What did you think of her at first?
  • How did you feel when I was born? Where you scared and sort of like “oh shit what now?!” like I was?
  • What was your happiest memory of my childhood?
  • Do you think I should have another kid?
  • Is there anything you would do differently knowing where you ultimately ended up?
  • What advice do you have for your grandson and what would you want to be sure we passed on to him?

If you are a dad – or grandfather, grandmother, father or mother – share your answers to these questions with your loved ones today. I am certain after you’re gone there will be more questions your loved ones will want answered, but at least they’ll know these.

Taking the time to share your story and your answers with loved ones is a priceless gift. It is your legacy. 

One that your loved ones will forever cherish.

In the Missing Pieces Plan we have a Legacy Questionnaire designed to help you write or craft your legacy. You can include as much or as little as you choose. The information provided will be a gift to your loved ones. To learn more visit www.missingpiecesplan.com.

To order your copy of Missing Pieces Plan, click here: http://missingpiecesplan.com/amazon

Sending love!

Jody

Why I think the word “legacy” is such a turn off

Often when people think of their “legacy” they think Albert Einstein or Steve Jobs. Yes, they have incredible legacies, but you don’t have to be a genius or millionaire or any other qualifying factor to build a legacy or to be remembered.

When I think of “legacy,” I think it’s building upon your values, identifying how you would like to be remembered and then living into those values and dreams for your life.

I also think one of the greatest legacies is just sharing your story with your loved ones.

Sharing your story with loved ones is your legacy.

What I would give to have recorded my grandfather’s stories from the war, his love notes to my grandmother, hearing what it was like to grow up in the depression, how he built a homebuilding business, what it was like losing his mother at 18. There is so much I wish I knew about my grandfather.

I think like most, I always thought there would be more time to ask these questions and learn their answers.

But then he passed.

We did our best to write his obituary after his passing. He had many accomplishments. But what would he have wanted us to say? Maybe if we had asked, I would have gotten the answers to the questions above.

I’ve been told, “but I don’t want to think about it or write anything down, that will mean it will happen. I will die.” I get it, the thought of writing your obituary or jotting ideas down on how you would like to be remembered, is scary. It means the inevitable will happen. I hate to break it to you, but it the inevitable will happen – whether you write something or not.

So, go there with me. Think of your loved ones and how they would love to know more about you. Today, I encourage you to think of how you’d like to be remembered. What you would want your obituary to say? And before you think you are too young or healthy … anyone can do this – regardless of age! Even if you are 20!

To get started, simply write five things you would like to remembered for and then next to each how your are living into each today. At the very least you are crafting how you’d like to live today and letting your legacy be known.

In the Missing Pieces Plan we have a Legacy Questionnaire designed to help you write or craft your legacy. You can include as much or as little as you choose. The information provided will be a gift to your loved ones. To learn more visit www.missingpiecesplan.com.

To order your copy of Missing Pieces Plan, click here:

http://missingpiecesplan.com/amazon

Sending love!

Jody