During the year my wife was sick, it seemed like our entire life was in chaos. It seemed that almost every day brought some new crisis. But there were a few happy memories from that time.
One in particular stands out – our trip to Hawaii.
Tracie wanted to visit Hawaii. But it seemed impossible . . . until one of her uncles sent us a check for $10,000 to make it possible. Needless to say, we were all excited, especially Tracie.
Now to understand what happened next, you need to know my wife. She was sweet and dedicated, hardworking, a great mom, and wonderful wife. But like all of us, she had her faults. One of those involved cleaning. She was kept a very clean house, and didn’t use any of the fantasy methods I wrote about in a previous post.
Unfortunately, there were times when she would become frustrated with the clutter. In these moments, she would throw out just about anything that had the slightest appearance of being unnecessary. This was a good thing at times, though, because it helped balance out my tendency to hold on to just about anything that might prove useful at some undesignated time in the future: a gift card to a video rental store that had gone out of business? I might need that – they could always reopen!
But at times, this habit of hers could also be frustrating when actual useful and needed things were thrown out.
And so as the day for our trip approached and we couldn’t find our check, I became suspicious. Surely, she couldn’t have thrown out a check for that much money, could she?
Well, after looking everywhere I could in the house, I thought I’d better check the trash outside – before the garbage ran the next day.
With my wife and in-laws watching, there I was, sitting outside in the grass, enduring the steamy Arkansas summer morning, ripping into trash bags and rummaging through them like a raccoon. Needless to say, the smell from garbage that had been in the heat for a few days was not toooooo pleasant.
So when one of them asked me if I had found the check for $10,000 yet, my frustrated reply was, no, but I found two $5,000 checks.
It was one of those laughs that you need during stressful times. I did eventually find the check, and there weren’t so many coffee grounds on it that it couldn’t still be cashed. The trip was a memorable experience for all of us, and we still laugh about the “lost” check today. During such a tragic year, it was nice to have a few bright spots that we could enjoy, and remember with a smile.