Father Simeon Daly, OSB - Finding Grace in the Moment: Stories and other Musings of an Aged Monk


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Tom, a Man with a Vision
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Katie’s father, Obie, owned an insurance agency. Both Katie and Tom worked for him. Early in their married lives they began to assess what their future was in the company. They saw little hope of ever being major owners. After due deliberation and with the approval of Obie, they decided that Tom should launch out on his own. It was scary for the first few years. There were few clients. Living and office expenses ate up what little profit there was.

I think it was after the first year of being on his own, Tom wrote to me expressing his concern for the lack of profits. He said he sat around his small office often with little to do but wait and hope.

I remember I sent back a rather sharply worded note urging him to get out of his chair and cultivate other business opportunities from his office, such as filing tax reports for customers and possibly selling real estate, as had been done in the other office.

I got back from him a rather touching letter thanking me for my counsel but offering an explanation for not following it. He said that he really believed in the importance of insurance for individuals and families. Although he hoped to make a living doing it, he did not feel he had to con anyone. What he was selling was essential to any good family financial plan. He was very comfortable with his role. He said he wanted to be the best insurance agent he could be. Therefore he did not want to clutter up his interest and time with other distracting processes. He had seen enough in the other office to know that during tax time or in periods given over to real estate, insurance was less attended to. He felt it may take him a while but he preferred to stay with his specialty. His vision and his forthrightness humbled me. I believe that his attitude helped him to be the success that he was in insurance.

I would also like to note that Katie and Tom made all their major decisions as a team. Any major issue, and specifically one of financial concern, was thoroughly aired out together. I think I can safely say that Tom never made a major move or shift without the approval of Katie. If the issues were complicated Katie was brought up to speed so she could help make an intelligent decision.

A touching proof of that was witnessed by the whole family on the occasion of their turning over some stock to each of the grandchildren. When Tom got caught up in the emotions of this generous gift, and couldn't go on, Katie calmly stood up and explained in considerable detail the nature of the transfer and its implications. It was a beautiful moment all around!

Fr. Simeon
April 15, 2001
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