“Do not care overly much for wealth or power or fame, or one day you will meet someone who cares for none of these things, and you will realize how poor you have become.”~ Rudyard Kipling

You know those moments where you feel so grateful for another chance? When you see two possible outcomes and you breathe a sigh of relief that you were blessed with the “good one”? When in one second your world could unexpectedly turn upside down, but instead you are woken up to the simple beauties of life and have another chance to enjoy them?

He’s only seven-years-old, thin, and wiry. Moments before he was running around the living room, teasing his little brother and begging to stay up longer. But, I sent them both to bed and was ready to chase the younger one up the stairs from across the room when Kenney came tumbling down from the top stair, skidding head down on his neck, landing hard and fast at the bottom. I was so scared. I’ve seen a lot of falls, but this one was different. It touched a place in my heart where childhood lives.

I held him as he whimpered in my arms, both of us hanging on and hoping for the best. He was fine. He got a huge rug burn and wound on his neck, and a few bruises. But he was going to heal. I wrapped him up and kissed him goodnight a few minutes later as he lay his head down on the couch in my room – a treat for him. I wanted him close to me.

I lay in bed thinking about how life changes so quickly. People can be taken or choose to leave your life so suddenly, so unexpectedly. It’s up to us to accept that and to live accordingly. I’ve always believed in valuing the people who willingly show up in my life and giving my best to them. But I don’t always give them what they need. Sometimes I’m tired and spent. Sometimes I’m selfish and hoard my light and goodness. I tuck myself away, saving up for that rainy day that’s somewhere in the future. I convince myself that I’ll need my energy for that day.

I save and save and save, adding to the account labeled “All of Me.”

And then Kenney falls down the stairs. “Insufficient funds.” The account is closed. My heart tells me that the deposits disappeared as soon as I had  made them. They were only available in the moment that I had them. Memories were the only deposits that were ever accepted. They are the only things I’d ever be able to withdraw.

So…Kenney slept on my couch. When he came down the stairs in the morning I told him, “No school for you today.” He smiled. He spent the day outside, walking with me to the pond, watching James run in and out of the cold water, climbing trees, riding bikes, digging holes, and taking naps. We slowed down. I really looked at him and listened to his laugh. I threw the ball to his waiting bat and teased him when he missed and cheered when he slammed the ball into the trees. We had fun.

It was a day to remember. I am a wealthy woman.


14 thoughts on “Wealth

    • Will any of us ever feel mortal enough to remember to take advantage of the moments we’ve been given? I wonder. I know people who are looking at death in the face for whom it makes no difference. That’s not a criticism really. To each his own. I can only live my life. But, those moments where fear that it could all slip away show me where my heart is. Perhaps wake-up calls don’t change a heart, just reveal it?
      Have a good one, Bill!

    • You know what’s “funny”, Ann? I never dreamed of being a mother. It wasn’t a wish like other girls I knew had. But it brings me so much joy! And just to prove to met hat it was “real” I was sent 9. HA! I stil can’t get the tatoos off Kenney’s arms and snd him to school looking like he doesn’t bathe because of them – and that makes me wonder about all of the detaiIs that go unnoticed and overlooked by me, and judged by other parents and teachers. I know I do what I can…most days! “Awesome” is something my little ones say I am. Te older ones know better. But they love me unconditionally! Thanks for the pat on the back!!

  1. So glad, Betsy, that Kenney is safe! I stopped breathing reading your story and it brings back memories of my daughter’s childhood adventures and the many visits to ER. We are truly blessed!

    • Aren’t we lucky for so many chances? That’s what I keep thinking. I’m seeing being human as a series of events reconcilng spirit to physical – the physical experiences waking us up to how true (or not) we’re being to our spiritual selves. Maybe there’s a better way to say it? But, I think what’s most important to come to grips with is that we are spiritual beings having a mortal experience, and we’re easily distracted by worldly things that are meant to enhance our time here, not to replace the most meaningful things, like time well-spent with friends and family. I guess that’s why we have this thing called time- in order to measure and evaluate it all for ourselves. Thanks for commenting, Barbara. You woke my brain up!

      • Hi, Betsy, could not agree more and thanks for reciprocating the “brain alert” favour. It is early morning, our mutually shared preferred time of the day and looking out of the kitchen window I see low hanging clouds and fog. FOG? What’s fog got to do here in the happy month of May? Crazy weather.

        I think you worded it perfectly: “a series of events reconciling spirit to physical”, only at the time of them happening I never considered myself lucky for so many chances! Maybe I panic too easily but in those moments there was only place for fervently praying everything to be ok and those nanoseconds when you think “I will be more in the moment, life is so precious”.

        May you have a wealthy day!

      • Thank you, Barbara! To be child again whe living in the momnt was most of what we did, unless we were daydreaming about Christmas or Summer vacations!
        Weather teaches me a lot, too. Hope you enjoy(ed) the fog!

  2. I need to learn ALL the children’s names. “Betsy’s kiddos” doesn’t cut it with me…maybe Him, but I would like to be specific! LOL, oh Blessings, Betsy! My heart stopped too!

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