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Tales Of An Educated Debutante

on life, loss and the joy that rules the day.


The future is far away and scary, but today is lovely.

Adrian H. Wood, PhD

I Won The Powerball

I Won The Powerball

Friday, January 01, 2016 Adrian Wood Comments (0)

I won the Powerball.

No I did not actually and I will not as I am too vain to buy a lottery ticket. After years of poo-pooing the lottery system and a liberal education that brainwashed me into thinking the people who buy lottery tickets are the very same people who should be saving their money. Our children do not yet have tidy college cushions, they each have an account, though with about enough to cover one semester, maybe two at a state institution and 90% was given as birthday money from their grandparents. (The money conscious ones.) Actually Amos does not have an account. He has opted to use his birthday money to pay for an early education and last year's ski trip. Therefore, in the air of transparency I am disclosing I should not waste money on a lottery ticket when I owe money on one car, my house, and a credit card. Not to mention the minimum 8 hospital bills I have been paying for years on end and with our much higher out of pocket expense to BCBS this year, I will be paying them longer than my husband's student loan to Sallie Mae. Three years of law school at $224.32 a month for the past 12 years and another 13 years to go. Before you suggest I pay this or my medical bills down, I will gently tell you to pay off high interest loans first. And so I will ignore the school loan at 1.3% and the interest free hospital bills and allow them to be chipped away like a large stone transformed into Michelangelo over the next 20 to 30 years.

Regarding the Powerball, I quote, "It is going to be hard to win, but somebody's going to win. With more money you'll have more headaches and I am happy as I am". This says the man, a kind painting contractor originally from Mexico who has a heart of gold and a tremendous work ethic, as he was carrying a window unit from our upstairs bedroom to the basement since my husband had not had time (sarcasm). He sounded so sure and his words resonated with me. Though I would like to think all that money would make my life less stressful, would it? One negative I hear repeatedly espoused on the news is what happens to people once they have spent all their lottery winnings. Let's be honest, this time around it would be nearly impossible to mismanage 1.5 billion or the meager ONE BILLION after taxes. If you can blow that much, it would be downright impressive and your book about the experience would keep you going for a little while. Not to mention the 1,000's of people who are indebted to you as you certainly spread your wealth like my favorite Eighties movie character, Richard Pryor as Brewster. I stopped and thought about the freedom from stress and money worries and what that may entail.

Regardless of all the obvious good in the community I would attempt first, I was eager to ascertain the specifics of how my family's life would improve. How could it not? Amos would be able to have the best therapy available and like Al Roker, we would have a wonderful therapy room and could have a variety of experts on-site. Uh oh, my new problems have begun already with this seemingly wonderful benefit. How would I attract the best of the best to a charming but rural town in Eastern North Carolina that is not home to a Chic Fil A or even scarier, a Target? We would have to move and somewhere large, and though our house is for sale, I like living downtown in small Edenton. It is home to me. And sadly no matter how much therapy Amos receives from even world renowned therapists, ultimately his brain is not exchangeable and though we have great hope for a young brain that continues to make progress, it is still his brain and it remains to be known what it will learn to do.

I love Amos and to love him is to love his brain, so money can't help me there regardless of even a billion dollars, enough to build a shack on the moon, I bet but not enough to buy the promise of language. There it is, the thing I most want most in the world is for Amos to develop as a regular old naughty toddler and yell at me as my dear friend's son did the other day and say with hate, "I don't yike drilled cheese!". Oh to have a tantrum with words explaining instead of rolling on the floor, howling, tears streaming and grabbing my mouth when I finally wrestle him into my arms as if he is saying please help me tell you. Today it took a trip to the pantry, lots of questions answered with a firm shake of the head and a resounding "No!". A smile to the muffin but one bite later it was shredded and thrown to the recently swept hardwood floor, his mind changed and I finally found popcorn as the answer. A long 15 minutes of misery for both of us that was classified in the easy category. And so, I guess I won't buy a lottery ticket. Besides buying Amos language, I would end up with a lot of people trying to be my friend and I just don't have time to decipher who likes me. I like my real friends, I love Amos' therapists, my children's school/ teachers, walking to the movie theater, our drugstore to get ice cream, and the best fair ever. I won the jackpot by living in a small NC town that smiles a greeting as I make my way downtown with at least four children in tow, an old chocolate lab, and unbelievable joy.

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