Experiencing the death of a loved one is tough at any age. But especially for children.
Norman was just seven years old when his mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. He wasn’t allowed in her hospital room, only in the courtyard outside, below her window. Every once in a while he’d see his mother press her face against the glass and wave. She died in that room, with her son waiting for her in the courtyard.
That is the only memory Norman has of his mother. That is the most heartbreaking part of this whole story. No memories of his mother packing his school lunches or being there for his t-ball games or Saturday night dates.
No memory of his mother sitting in the stands, watching him break 17 school records for football at the University of Maryland. No memory of his mother cheering for him when he was selected in the second round of the 1984 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. No memory of him becoming one of the most successful quarterbacks in NFL history, of him marrying, of him having children of his own.
Norman “Boomer” Esiason doesn’t dwell on this. In fact, he points to this experience as making him who he is today, having the strong relationships he does with his older sisters, his late father and his own family. It also made him a staunch advocate for life insurance (his mother had none).
Now, Boomer is the spokesperson for Life Insurance Awareness Month each September. Working with Life Happens, a life insurance awareness organization, he preaches the benefits of life insurance to agents and consumers across the country. He preached them to me over the phone recently.