The Rich Little Poor Girl
It had been a year since our precious mother passed away, and my two older siblings and I agreed to host a party at our home in Michigan where our elderly father lived.
Excitement mounted as the 747 bounced along the runway in Detroit and escalated as I caught the first glimpse of my sister waiting at the gate. Our chatter inside the car equaled the noise on the busy freeway as we traveled to our family home. A tearful reunion ensued as we met the rest of the family.
I strolled through the house, touching and remembering. There were seven of us there, but the house seemed empty without mother.
We decided to make a large banner celebrating her life and worked diligently rummaging through drawers and boxes for pictures. Completed, it was a masterpiece; enjoyed by everyone.
During the hunt, I discovered some childhood pictures hidden away in a tin box. I had never seen them before. We were dressed poorly; so poorly that I was shocked!
Later, I drove to the home of my mother’s only living sister. “Were we poor?” I asked. The pained look on her face said it all. Her eyes reflected the gravity of her answer.
“Your mother carried that information to her grave,” she began. “How did you find out?” Gingerly, I produced the pictures from my purse. She spoke of difficult times at the end of World War II and how scarce jobs were at the time.
On the plane back to Texas, my heart ached; not because we were poor, but because Mother carried a secret to her grave that she did not need to bear. I cannot tell her how incredibly rich my childhood was; how affluent I am because of my upbringing. I spent my childhood surrounded by a very loving family. At night we were tucked in clean and secure. Our parents taught us to be responsible adults with a strong value system. We learned respect and never talked back. They both worked to help us achieve our goals in college and rejoiced as we entered areas of ministry.
The true quality of life cannot be measured by “stuff.” The rich child is poor if wealth is based on money. The poor child is rich if wealth is based on security, acceptance and love. Keep it simple! Give them the tools they need to become responsible adults. The cost – your investment of time and attention.