My family’s fortunes have gone up and down over the years, and now it’s over and out. I say this because my husband and I had great careers, well-paying jobs, two children in expensive schools—a dream life. We started out as poor working students who lived on the dumps, the only places we could afford and would rather forget. But we blew it all after we started getting paid enormously, and lived as if money grew on trees.
We kept up with the Joneses—lived in a house whose huge mortgage we thought was part of who we were becoming. Then, slowly, our lives started unraveling. My husband’s womanizing, drinking and drugs cost him his job. My expenses and drugs cost me my job. My children turned to bad company and drugs that cost them their education. Our dream life just turned to dust.
Anything we could sell went, after my husband’s health turned bad. Relatives and friends who helped then were now having charity fatigue. Soon, rather than bear being refused by them, I turned to working the most menial jobs that could still be entrusted to me, just to buy the most basic medicine for my husband, and survive.
I never saw any of these things happening to us. The future we dreamed about was never like this.
Yes, money, when you never had it before, can be intoxicating once you saw its color and got pampered by it. You had a good run, and thinking it will be forever is truly dumb—but a human frailty.
Remember the sayings of the wise? What goes up must come down. What goes around comes around. That no matter how thin you slice an apple, there will always be two sides to it. Simple aphorisms that touch a chord and give such meaning when the going gets rough.
Despite your hopelessness, perceived and real, a sliver of light might still shine through in your husband’s case. Go to a government agency like PhilHealth where the premiums you’ve paid for years may still be restarted and worked out. Or queue up early in Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., or Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and state your predicament. They never stop being good samaritans.
Your wounded pride will probably withstand the anonymity and long wait there, more than the snub you will get from friends and family.
Hindsight is ruthless and accurately 20/20. If only the fictional crystal ball can come alive and guide us to see into the future! Wouldn’t life be an absolute heaven? Trouble is, rightly or wrongly, there’s that little unpredictability called free will which leaves us to our own devices in plotting our destinies.
As the drugs and alcohol in your addled minds dissipated like airless balloons, your sobriety wakened and made you see what was already happening. It may seem too late to reverse your life. But, if something good happened to you before, there’s always hope that it’ll happen again.
Nothing is final until the grave.
E-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.