We would have settled for the Mega Million, which produced a winning ticket of $450 million, but instead we were the winners of the Powerball. How could it be, you might ask yourself, as it has been noted on the news that the Powerball was sold in Merrimack, New Hampshire. We could have been in Merrimack while driving through beautiful New Hampshire but instead we found ourselves at the Monmouth Medical Centre in Long Branch, New Jersey, welcoming our eleventh great grandchild (a girl).
All of our winnings are, and have always been, based on our family and our marriage. The bottom line is that it is possible to be extremely rich without having tons of money in the bank.
We did discuss and disagree about, while returning from Long Branch today, how we would react to winning the ridiculous sum that the lotteries are worth. One of us vehemently felt that winning would make him very unhappy. He said that we would be besieged by so many people asking us for money and it could do nothing but make our life extremely unpleasant. He declared, as he had many times in the past, that this is the best time of his life and he has no desire to have any more. His wife, on the other hand, did not agree with that view at all. She would quickly, without flinching, disperse as much money as possible to tzedakah. With the remaining money our new lifestyle would take us on a completely different journey. We would ensure that our children’s lives would be financially easier. We would not live on New Bridge Road and have to worry every time we pull out of our driveway. We would visit Israel as often as we liked and surely buy a home there. Nina could go into a store and not check the price tags before she takes any item of clothing off the rack. We could say “bye bye” to the currency exchange company we need to deal with each month in order to exchange the depleted Canadian dollar into US dollars. We could drive into the city and dine wherever we chose and see plays and maybe even walk into a store on Fifth Avenue with the intention of buying something.
Which one of us is right? Is there a right and wrong here? Certainly we all know that the person who is most satisfied with his lot is the one who is the richest.
We have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who bring us enormous joy. We don’t have time to notice the snow when the Hagler snow squad is outside of our door shovelling our driveway and walkway. We receive telephone calls from practically all of our grandchildren wishing us a “good Shabbos,” especially on Friday morning from Israel. We receive thank you notes after visits, and text messages thanking us for what we do for them from married grandchildren while they are driving back to their homes after spending a Shabbos with us.
Should we say that we have a son-in-law who has allowed us to voice our opinion about many subjects, sometimes slightly nervously? We are constantly being thanked for the Dunkin Donuts, paninis from Lazy Bean, groceries from Costco, ShopRite and Trader Joe’s that we know our family members will love. Treats await their arrival whenever they pull up to our door. The slightest gift makes them extremely grateful and we do not mean cars, homes or vacations. They all know that we are available for any of their needs at any time. We love and care for no one more than our family, with the exception of our feelings towards each other. We hope that it is now clearly evident that we won the Powerball years ago.
With regard to the disagreement that took place in our car just a few hours ago, Nina refuses to give in to the fact that if and when we had won the monetary prize we would not have figured out how to deal with it in the same manner that we have figured out many other complicated situations in our married life. In the meantime, we are more than grateful for the lottery we won the day that we married, and the dividends that it continues to pay us. Nina concedes that these are much more heartwarming than any dollar amount.
By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick