I fell asleep last week knowing I'd won Powerball. To be clear it wasn't "check the winning numbers against mine" confirmation, but rather a deep belief it was "meant to be." After all, my husband and I went to a local gas station because it felt right. I'd meditated. I'd even purchased a combination of quick-picks and numbers sacred to our family. Lying in bed, I gleefully began spending money. New houses, plural. College funds for generations to come. Vacations. Large lump sums to family and friends. Bankrolling dreams. An orphanage. Impacting the trajectory of the refugee crisis. An animal sanctuary. And shoes. This was a billion dollars after all. I fell asleep basking in green.
Then, at 3 a.m. our son's coughing began again in earnest; the resounding rattle of croup in his sweet little chest. Thick with exhaustion, I climbed the stairs and into his bed, stroking his sweaty blond hair for hours. As I did so I looked around his room, for the first time realizing what could be lost versus won at fate's hand. He would likely no longer sleep in this bed, drive his "ranger" Power Wheels in the cul-de-sac with sister in tow, or play soccer in our amazing backyard. Neighborhood friendships made and not yet created would fade into the ether. As multi-millionaire parents, we might inadvertently make the mistake of never allowing our children to want for anything -- thereby denying them the sweet swell of pride which comes from accomplishing even the humblest of dreams. They might be robbed of the gift of unconditional sibling love as they compete for inheritance and worth. Their tender, impressionable souls could fill with the false food of fools, instead of truth and light. Future relationships predicated on currency versus connection, never knowing if they or their bank accounts are the ones in high demand. Perhaps they'd forget Spanish, thereby closing a special door to an important community and culture for our family. The list went on and on as I was once again humbled by this joyful life we've created. For in truth, there is nothing more we need right now. The home we have is filled with love, health, pets beauty and clutter (with too many shoes already). Our children can go to college if they choose, though they might have to help pay their way. We travel together often, with weekends at the lake just as sweet and sun-filled as Bali could ever be. Our dreams are ever-evolving, with many seeming well within reach. Philanthropically, we do our best to make a difference. Maybe not on the grand scale we'd like, but through organizations like The Compassion Collective, (http://thecompassioncollective.org), what we give goes a long, long way. And thankfully our presence is present enough for those we adore (or at least that's what I tell myself). So upon confirmation I'd won exactly nada, there was no sense of having gambled and lost; only security in the knowledge my lucky numbers were drawn long ago.