I normally stay away from lotteries and sweepstakes and slot machines and every other kind of gambling, but this year I’ve been filling in the ridiculous Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes forms. I’ve been feeling lucky — or rather, I had been feeling lucky — having a house (a home!), a nice town to live in, as well as friends is luck indeed, and on the off chance that this lucky streak continued, I went ahead and played their silly game.
And it is a game. They hide the necessary stickers among copious ads for things no one needs in the hope that those foolish enough to enter will think they have a better chance of winning if they buy something. I have a hunch, if I read all the small print, I would discover that I had entered various drawings. The winner the first few times was supposed to win $7,000 a week for life, and the last form said the winner would receive $5,000 a week for life. So . . . games.
Mostly, I was playing a game with myself, thinking of what I would do with all that money. I don’t need it all (a couple weeks worth each year would be riches for me) and would have no way of spending it. I did think it would be fun to turn each week’s check over to a local organization and let them deal with spending it for the good of the community. It certainly would have brought much needed cash to this rather impoverished area.
I don’t really feel that lucky any more — not that I am unlucky, because I’m not. All the things that made me feel lucky are still in place, but that moment when I felt it possible for the universe to open up a crack to shower me with enough riches to play Lady Bountiful seems to have closed. And anyway, the more I think about it, the more dreadful it seems — every week, for the rest of my life having to figure out where the money would do the most good, and then having to make the effort to get it to the proper organization (as well as trying to keep my name out of the public’s eye so as not to be inundated with people’s outstretched hands).
If that had a become a problem, there would still be other ways of using the money for good, such as buying up one of the derelict houses around here and flipping it or tearing it down (it’s costly to tear down some of these houses because of the asbestos issue) and creating a green space. But even that seems like too much work.
Besides, my own property still needs work, and for now, that’s enough riches and enough of a responsibility to keep “Lady Bountiful” occupied.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.