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by Hershey Rosen & Nancy Thomas
This is a time of worry and concern. A time to think about survival, and our own mortality. If you are like many heads of households, or parents, or someone who others depend on, you have another level of concern. How will those I love do, if something happens to me? Not necessarily meaning your death, but a prolonged hospitalization, or illness and rehabilitation. In the recent past, even snowbirds had these thoughts – while I’m away, can my family – can those I love – not skip a beat in caring for themselves, for the home, and for the rest of the family.
It was thoughts like these, and an experience with a close friend, that prompted a Rhode Island icon in business – Harris “Hershey” Rosen to write his book. It has recently been edited and republished as “Why? Because I Love You” – having been most recently titled, “My Family Record Book”.
Some of us will think, when I get out of this quarantine, I’ll want to have something to show for it! This book will get you on your way, chapter by chapter, a little at a time, to doing something you’ve wanted to do for a long time – get organized – for yourself, and for those you love – with the most important information – all that info that resides in one place – your head! – to get documented.
Hershey, why did you write this book?
I wrote this book to allow me to have peace of mind. And to help others have it, too.
When I retired some years ago, I had newly found time. When people asked, “So how do you keep busy these days?” I told them of my project: writing an informational guide for my wife. For the past few decades my wife and I have done our best to protect each other and provide a good life for ourselves, our family and our community. As it turns out, she is the social director, cook extraordinaire, arbiter of good taste, and of course, my best friend.
My roles? The keeper of the records, the one who handles our finances, and the one who maintains our house, including its appliances, systems, and “all that”. And a happy and rewarding relationship it is.
But I started thinking, who will handle all these things if I weren’t around? How would my wife and children know about the health insurance, service contracts for household things, unpaid and paid bills, and right on down the line to what items I want my children to have and what treasures we may have in art and collectibles.
Think about the information that resides in our heads – our code for our iphones (and you know, Apple will NOT unlock those phones after we pass, can’t be found, or commit a crime, heaven forbid). The codes to the locks on our luggage. The password to our computer, never mind the passwords to all those accounts and sites we use every day. You can move up from there in level of importance – who fixes the roof in your home – where are the appliance warranties – who handles the investments, the taxes, and how do you get in touch with them? Where are the photos kept? And WHO are those people in the photos? What are the keys on the keyrings around the house?
From the sublime to the critically important – we can have peace of mind in knowing a completed record will give that peace of mind to those we love, too. It’s designed to be taken and used in small sittings, so you don’t get overwhelmed. Believe me you’ll be inspired to take on other projects once you get into this – like writing a literal will and letters to leave each person in your family, and your dear friends. You may even get inspired to redo your finances, your file cabinet, and then to inspire your significant others to do the same!
During my first week of college at Harvard, the president of the university addressed our freshman class and explained that it was not the university’s purpose in the next four years to have us memorize information – but rather, to learn where to get it.
The same holds true for “Why? Because I Love You“. It will be your tool – and your loved ones’ tool – when you need to know or find something, you’ll know where to look. This book has been prepared with love – as a gesture to help ease you into the next phase of your life, and I hope that it does.
But – it is more than retirement planning – just think of going on vacation – going into the hospital for surgery – being on an extended vacation – being called out of your home to care for a family member. All these situations call out for an organized method of taking care of the most important documents – and information – you have.
About Harris “Hershey” Rosen
Harris “Hershey” Rosen, a graduate of Harvard, has focused on controlling chaos since 1954. He was a Financial Control Officer in the U.S. Army, where he received a Letter of Commendation for improvement to its worldwide accounting system. Next, on to satisfying everyone’s sweet tooth, he ran a candy company for 40 years – School House Candy – developing a system for locating ANY item housed in five factories, covering 600,000 square feet.
Following “retirement,” Hershey went on to become a mediator and settled over 200 disputes for the state of Rhode Island and The Community Mediation Center of Rhode Island. He was also asked to team-teach management courses at the University of Rhode Island, where he enthusiastically challenged the textbook with real-life experiences, to the delight and edification of the students.
Always passionate about assisting others, Hershey has been a director or trustee of numerous boards and organizations. His first book was Creating A Guide So Your Loved Ones Can Go On Living! to help others protect their spouses (and families) from the intense stress that will occur if one does not share financial information and knowledge critical to a functioning home. He then wrote My Family Record Book, expanding on the information in his first book, and finally, in 2020, Why? Because I Love You was published.
Hershey, who lives in Providence, Rhode Island, can now relax, with the engaged life he leads, with his beloved wife, Myrna, and enjoy visits with their combined five children and ten grandchildren.
“Why? Because I Love You” can be ordered on Amazon (https://amzn.to/3bwtIFG) and will be available at all local bookstores – soon.
Read more about the book and about Hershey at: www.WhyBecauseILoveYou.com
Here is an interview I did with NBC10’s Emily Volz with the older version of my book – My Family Record Book