Category Archives: DP Writing Challenge

Lottery To Do List

Written in response to and in SOC style.

Like many people, I have a “To Do List” should I ever hit the lottery big time. It’s pretty specific, though I am sure there are many other things that I would also do.

There is a little cemetery I used to spend a lot of time in to think and I made one very important decision that I never regretted while sitting out there pondering my future. While there, thinking and visiting a lost friend’s grave, there was a nearby grave I always noticed. It was for a little boy who died on Christmas Eve many years prior. There were many faded toys surrounding his grave, but no headstone or marker, just a piece of paper in a plastic cover. I am sure by now that paper marker is gone, as that was many many years ago. There were never fresh flowers on his grave, just the same old faded plastic ones – like maybe his family was not close by anymore, or maybe they couldn’t bring themselves to come here, or maybe they had all but forgotten about him. I wrote down that little boy’s name, as well as the date he was born and the date he died. I would love to buy him a headstone. I do not know why I am so compelled to do this, other than I think that little boy deserves one and his parents must not have had the money to afford it. I have spent many occasions thinking about this boy and the circumstances surrounding his death and burial. So buying a headstone for David has been #1 on my list for a while now. Yes, call me crazy . . .

I would love to set up a LARGE independent agency to go around and inspect nursing homes – and I mean really inspect them with surprise visits and all. Enveloped with that is the ability to change legislation governing them. My grandma lived in one for close to a decade and I always hated that. I also hated how it was maintained and how she was cared for. Unfortunately I was unable to get her to move close to me, which I think would’ve made things better, as I am certain nursing homes (and hospitals for that matter) take much better care of the residents/patients who have regular visitors, than those who do not. My grandma lived 650 miles away, so my yearly visits were not enough to make a difference, other than to remind me of where I do not ever want to end up. I would love to be able to ensure senior citizens were treated with the kindness, compassion, respect and dignity they deserve and treated others with throughout their lives.

My mother was homeless for a while and I was not close by to help. During this time, she was also looking for a job. The one thing that was always a struggle was having clean clothes and being cleaned up for job interviews. Kinda hard to get on one’s feet when you don’t have a job and it’s kinda hard to get a job when you look and smell homeless. If I had the money, I would love to set up places in areas with high percentages of homelessness that allow for people to not only wash their clothes for free, but to also shower and shave for free. Most people who are homeless do not want to be, and quite frankly most of us are only months, weeks or days away from being homeless ourselves were it not for the grace of God or great luck, or both depending on how you look at it. No, I am not a socialist or a bleeding heart liberal, but I am painfully aware of how hard it is out there and how quickly things can go to shit.

The decision I made in the cemetery and never regretted was leaving everything I knew and all my friends behind and moving to Arkansas to spend the last year of my father-in-law’s life living with my in-laws in the middle of nowhere in the Ozark Mountains, with no income. We moved there so my husband could finish building his dad’s dream home he had planned to retire in. After his dad died, and the house was finally completed, within five years, his mom sold it. The original plan was to keep that property in our family going forward. Though the price I am sure has gone up considerably, I would make every effort to get the house that Jack built (killed himself to build, or maybe that’s what kept him alive five years after the diagnosis) back into our family name. That is a possession I would truly cherish.

Then I would do the other “normal” shit people who win the lottery do: pay off my bills; move to the mountains – possibly in Colorado, Oregon or Arkansas; replace my 10-year old car; buy a little place in Panama City Beach, Florida, for my beach fix; play Santa Claus to a few family members and friends; and last but not least . . . take the family to Disneyland, of course 🙂 I’m kind of a simple woman like that.

I don’t know, just something I was thinking about . . .

Do you have a list like that?