“You’ve got to stop your crying, right now! This is business!”
Tears mixed with sweat as I ran my hands over my face and stared into the serious eyes of my lawyer. He was right. The anguish I was expressing was ill-suited for the meanness in the next room.
“Can ya’ll just give me a minute alone?”
My attorney and the mediator assigned to my divorce case left, angry. I closed the door behind them and turned off the light. I needed peace and the darkness felt right. I ignored their grumbles, kneeled down, pressed my feet against the bottom of the door and asked for hope. Actually, I begged for hope. I don’t remember the exact words in my pathetic prayer, but there was a line about making sure I never was motivated by money to do anything. The quest for stuff, that thirst for greed, has turned the mother of my child into something unrecognizable. I even had relatives showing the same faces. As I composed myself and let the misery workers back inside, I said something to myself that I’ll never forget.
“Money means nothing.”
Over the next two years I turned down two job opportunities that would have meant higher pay. They would have ruined my relationship with my now eight-year-old daughter and prevented me from meeting my wife and other two girls. I stopped haranguing loved ones about not saving or spending frivolously or buying too much for the kids at Christmas. I felt the change in my life that started six years earlier.
I make good money at a job I’m fortunate to have. Yet, as I write, I have less money than ever. Bills, debts, life and many more things have depleted finances. But I’m happy.
Last night, after a serious discussion with my wife about our money problems, we sat down together to get our minds off trouble. My teenage daughter, whose modus operandi is staying in her room, came downstairs and stayed with us for three hours. We laughed, watched bad shows, and shared the ridiculousness of our lives. I may have even stolen a few hugs and kisses from the teenager. As we prepared for bed, I walked to the back porch and turned off the light. The sudden darkness reminded me of that day in the courthouse mediation room. I smiled, wiped an unexpected tear, and said “money means nothing”.
I hope I’m right.
This week, we asked you to share a memoir featuring hope, expressed in 400 words or less.
Nancy wrote a Prayer for Her Son, using Tina Fey as inspiration.
We can’t wait to read. Consider the spirit of yesterday’s post about constructive critique—and take a risk and try giving some feedback to your fellow writers. Remember, kindness first.
Today’s song is meant to be ironic and of course emotional. I’m very angst-ridden and in turmoil right now so Nirvana hits me just right. Here’s The Money Will Roll Right In.