I was reading back through some old blog posts on Chump Lady. This particular one was about oversharing. It has absolutely nothing to do with what I’m going to write about today, aside from the quote I’m using, but I wanted to give credit where credit is due.
Over the last ten months I have found myself feeling exactly like Tracy did on this day, wondering when on earth the world is going to give me a fucking break.
There’s a knock at the door and it’s Ron Outlaw. He sees that I’ve been crying and he says very firmly to me “It’s just money. That’s all. It just doesn’t matter. It’s just money, okay?”
I start to bawl some more. Because it felt like fucking EVERYTHING that day. The punishment of breeding with a deadbeat, lawsuits, single motherhood, a dear friend’s suicide, ghastly plumbing repairs, the World Bank deadline. When was the universe going to give me a FUCKING BREAK?! I was having a total pity party.
And then he says to me “It’s just money. It’s just a house. It doesn’t matter. Some things really do matter, but this isn’t one of them, okay? I just lost my 21 year old son last year in an accident. It broke up my marriage. When that happens, you see what’s really important and it’s never the same.”
Lord knows you’ve all seen me at my whiny, pitiful best these last few weeks. I swear I don’t mean to; I just know I’ve got to get it all out. I have to let it wash all over me so I can wallow in it before I pick myself back up and begin again. Those words, though, touched me: Some things really do matter, but this isn’t one of them.
As we were driving back to my home state for my nephew’s graduation I discovered that a woman I had served on the PTA with had died of a massive heart attack. She was 52. She left behind four kids. I’m not sure how old her oldest was; I know he was away at the time so maybe 18 or 19. Her two daughters were juniors and sophomores; one of them had been in Rock Star’s class. Her youngest child, another boy, had been in Picasso’s class, so he was 13. She was the kind of mom I am- involved, volunteering, never missing any events her kids had. Her kids were her life and many of their friends wrote moving tributes to her about how she was like a second mother to them. It is so damn unfair that she only got to see one out of the four of her children graduate from high school. It’s unfair that she will never attend any of their weddings or be able to meet her grandchildren. So when I’m down and feeling sorry for my kids because they have to leave their new home and their new friends, I think of her and her children. They don’t have to switch schools. They don’t have to leave their home. But they’ve lost their mom. I’m sure they would switch with my kids any day.
Another friend from back there lost her four year old son to cancer less than two years ago. He was diagnosed shortly before his second birthday and spent almost his entire life fighting. He went into remission and it came back. He had a successful bone marrow transplant. And it came back. There were no more miracles the third time, although they did have a few more months with him than they had expected. I have no doubt that they, too, would switch with us and our situation.
Some things really do matter, but this isn’t one of them. It sucks to lose your home, your lifestyle, your long awaited pool, your furniture and your decorations. But they don’t matter. I’ve got my kids. I’ve got my health. I’ve got my dogs. I have family who love me and my kids and I’m going to be ok. It’s just money and it’s just stuff. Things can be replaced. People can’t.