Feeling like a million bucks

Did you know that if a goldfish bowl was large enough to hold a million goldfish, it could hold a whale?

Or that if a million children climbed on each other’s shoulders, they would go higher into the sky than aeroplanes do?

Or that one million minutes ago was – 1 year, 329 days, 10 hours and 40 minutes ago.

Or that a USD bill of any denomination weighs 1 gram and that there are 454 grams in a pound.  One million $1 bills would weigh in at 2,204.62 pounds, or just over 1 tonne.

A million is pretty big.

A million is pretty significant.

A million is what an amazing Daddy and Mommy and some other amazing people just pulled together for an angel. 

A million dollars.  A tonne of money.  Literally.

Enough money to put a little girl’s name on The Maddie James Seaside Learning Centre and to help build it.  So that many millions of children can go there and learn about what Maddie loved and millions of parents can create memories with their millions of children.

That’s a pretty big gift to give.

So if that’s what a million dollars looks like and weighs and can do, what does it feel like?

When I found out that the million dollars had been raised, I wasn’t at the Reaching for the Sea Stars Gala, it was Saturday afternoon in Melbourne, so I had just had my spray tan and was sitting at the nail salon with some poor woman painting my toenails (I’m a leo, I’m quite vain, there was a dress I wanted to squeeze myself into that night and it required a tan… sorry; I’m rambling).

So anyway, this poor woman’s painting my toenails (and if you’ve ever seen a long distance runner’s feet you’ll know why I’m calling her a “poor” woman) and, with my fingernails now done (yellow, inspired by the gorgeous LM who carried it off, I really don’t think I should’ve attempted it) I could get my phone out and jump on Facebook (my name’s Suzanne and I’m a Facebook addict).

And there it was on C4’s wall…

A million dollars.

They had made it.  From around $516,069 just a week earlier, they had gotten to one million dollars.

What did I do? 

Being the gracious and composed woman that I am, I ugly cried.

I believe Oprah coined the term (tip of the cap, happy last show) but you know what it is.

It’s not exactly Grace Kelly with a tear rolling down her cheek, gazing out to the world glassy-eyed.  It’s more a four-chinned, blotchy-chested (yes, even through a fresh spray tan), strange chortling noises, snot everywhere sort of a sob.  I know right; beautiful picture.

You see, the amazing James family has lost a lot.  They have lost more opportunities and memories and love and beauty and hope and happiness than most of us mere mortals can fathom or could cope with.

And – finally – they got something.

People got behind them and made sure that this time their dream would not be lost.  This time they would get it.  And because of all their hard work and all the love and all the generosity; it happened.

Everyone who set up fun runs (tip of the cap to Uncle Caca and Mish) and all the people who participated and for all of you amazing people who read my silly ramblings and donated your hard-earned money, you did this. 

You made a goldfish bowl that could fit a whale.  You made a tonne of one dollar bills (we don’t have those in Australia, no idea what the equivalent is, but it’s a lot).

A million dollars in just a few short months. 

It’s enough to make you ugly cry, isn’t it?

It was for me.  So if you can conceptualise the weight, height and mass of a million dollars, that’s what feeling it is like for me. 

Feeling a million bucks is when something’s so incredible, you ugly cry all on your own in the nail salon and you don’t give a stuff that everyone there thinks you are mad.

It’s an awesome feeling.

Congratulations Bubs – you made her dream come true.

Maddie and her Daddy

Maddie and her Daddy

10 Responses to “Feeling like a million bucks”
  1. Emily says:

    The Sydney Swans Melbourne office has just seen its first Ugly Cry… (well this week anyway)!


    Amazing news – amazing writing – amazing.

  2. Uncle Caca says:

    well written, ms. hevey!

  3. Wendy says:

    Oh my. Your writing moved me to tears. And you would think, as the fundraising chair for MJF, there would be no more tears to shed. I cried ugly tears at the gala…have you seen the images from Bosh or Flickr? They capture but a glimmer of the magic — worth watching. Thank you for sharing your beautiful perspective.

    • Oh Wendy – I have seen the pics – I’ve watched them all several times 🙂

      You weren’t ugly crying in that beautiful gown – you were a picture of grace.

      What you have acheived is so monumental, Wendy. As a friend watching from a distance, thank you thank you thank you. What you have helped C4 achieve is so incredible. I hope to get to thank you in person when next I come visit.

  4. Jan Hevey says:

    A million is amazingly big and amazingly significant and I think you’re amazing too with all the help you’ve given! And by the way, your descriptions of your ‘ugly cry’ were enough to make me laugh and cry! You’re wonderful!!!

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  1. […] made a million dollars.   To put that into context for you Miss Maddie, I’m 32 and I still haven’t made a […]

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  • My Marathons for Maddie in 2011

    Run for the Kids: 17 April - 14.38km
    Mothers' Day Classic: 8 May - 4km
    Run Melbourne: 17 July – half marathon
    Sandy Point Half: 21 August - half marathon
    Sydney Running Festival: 18 September – half marathon
    Melbourne Marathon: 9 October – marathon

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