Twelve Hundred Dollars

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What would you do if someone handed you $1,200.00? It’s alot of money, right? Here are some of the things I’ve thought about for a long time, that I think would be on the top of the list of “things to buy”:

  1. Change out lighting in my entry way, kitchen pendants and maybe even my office – I’d love something just as pretty as it is functional!
  2. A faux fireplace in my Master Bedroom because I’ve ALWAYS wanted one, this house has a Master big enough for it to make sense, and then I’d maybe even get some cool accessories to update the space….
  3. New landscaping in the front yard. We bought a Model Home and when they removed their big sign and built our driveway, what was left wasn’t very pretty. (insert sad face) It’s fairly plain, with a lot of potential; but I don’t know what to do…. I could spend that money on adding color and interest!

Let’s face it….the list goes on….and I haven’t even mentioned the clothes I could buy with that amount of cashola!

What’s my point? Well, the last couple of years, my husband and I have worked hard to be critical of our spending. We have some pretty big LONG TERM financial goals we are focusing on (less attention to how big we can live now, so we can be sure to live quite comfortably & happy during our retirement years), so the idea of spending $1,200.00 without having planned for it is a little crazy in our world.

BUT….here’s the thing. My Grama, one of the most important people in my life, a woman I cannot even remember not knowing and loving with such deep emotion. I don’t know if it’s because I was given her name as my middle name, or it I was the 5th or 6th of over 45 grandchildren / great grandchildren; but me and this gal are connected…..way deep down. I made SURE to give my daughter her name too, so her legacy will live on.

My Grama turned 85 on March 15. About a month prior, I noticed on Facebook that some of my family were arranging a surprise party for her. Back in late October of last year, I unexpectedly flew home to attend my other grandmother’s funeral. I felt a really strong need to be there for my Dad…who was struggling through losing his mom. It got me thinking….living away is hard for so many reasons; but this is a big one. Things happen, good, bad or otherwise, that you have no control over and cannot even be there for. And losing people close to you is one of them. You don’t get to say one more hello or goodbye, you don’t get to be there for those you love as they struggle through moments like this. And as I reflected on that, I realized, even though I’m 3,000 miles away, I don’t want to be the person that goes home on a whim for funerals….I also want to go to the moments that celebrate a big and glorious life WITH that person.

So, the new lighting, the faux fireplace and well, ALL material things didn’t even come to mind when I saw this milestone birthday celebration being planned. It took about 10 seconds to make the decision with zero guilt or worry, and 10 minutes to book the flights.

Over the past 5 1/2 years that we have lived in Houston, my Grama has come down to see us and spend time in our new place FIVE times! How amazing, right? So to surprise her over our Spring Break was super exciting, just as fun as I had hoped it would be, put HER on the top of our priority list, and sharing this moment with her and my kids….well, my relationship with her, her impact on my life is worth FAR more than any of those material things and was the easiest $1,200 I’ve ever spent. To celebrate her life WITH her, not after she is gone, was priceless.

Let’s face it….to be almost 41 and still have my Grama with me, is pretty darn awesome. When I’m with her, I go back to being an 8 year old on her farm for the summers, spoiling us at the same time she put us to work, yet is someone I can talk to freely and honestly about being a woman, wife and mother in a completely different time from when she was raising her family.

One day I’ll have a house with some or all of those fancy things in it; but for now, I got moments with my Grama. Unexpected, glorious and loving moments that money just cannot buy.

Do you have someone in your life who makes your heart happy to be around? When was the last time you said no to something you might have wanted, and yes to spending time with them? I say do it….asap.

xoxo Taryn

PS….Happy Birthday Grama! Love, your Bean Girl

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