Monday, July 29, 2013

Coins In A Machine

I was going to make a funny and clever post about the new parking meters that have infiltrated the city like alien eavesdropping devices. But I think this photo could be served for a much better purpose.

At the beginning of the month, I found out some troubling news. A fellow blogger had died. Although we weren't the closest of friends, I did know about this blogger for about 2 years through a tenuous Internet relationship that allowed me to see her accomplishments in the book world as she offered opportunities for writers to interact with editors and agents through contests while she was trying to get two of her own stories published.

Then, someone posted a news story on Facebook this month.

In this news story, it talked about a Maryland woman sitting in her car on the shoulder of a busy interstate highway. It talked about the woman getting out of the car and walking into the busy road as she was struck by a vehicle. It also talked about the police finding a suicide note on the car seat.

The news story was dated 2012.

So, for over a year, nobody knew what had happened to her. Those people who she created strong friendships with, way stronger than the passing acquaintance I had with her, weren't aware that she had committed suicide as they sent her emails and letters and phone calls trying to draw her back into the Internet conversation -- all the while with no response. They had assumed she had withdrawn from blogging and the Internet to focus more on her writing.

The reasons for her suicide still remains unclear, although many people knew about her struggles to keep custody of her two sons from the father who lived overseas. All that is known is that many people felt both sad about her suicide and that they had lost contact with her, believing they could have done more to stop her from committing such an act.

I have a very clear opinion about suicide. I don't believe in it. I don't believe that life can get so bad where a person feels the need to proverbially "check-out." As a kid, I believed suicide was the coward's way out of life. You can fight for what you want even when it feels like everything is taken from you. Quietly plan, plot and then kick life in the ass. This is my personal opinion that keeps ME going on. Do what needs to be done. Period.

Yet I don't believe this woman was a coward. I think life got so complicated for her that she didn't see much point in going on, and that her absence wouldn't be noticed. But it was noticed by a lot of people.

I remember being told about a school neighbor who committed suicide when she became an adult. I remember how hard life was when growing up. She moved here from Germany, and the school kids picked on her because she had blond hair and blue eyes. They called her a Nazi, threw stuff at her on the school bus, and were horrible to the girl. I don't know what circumstances in her adult life contributed to her taking her own life, but I'm sure her school days were a part of the decision.

At the top of the post is a parking meter. Although it looks all fancy and technologically advanced, it is still the same as the old meters. You place coins into it, and you are given a certain amount of time to park there. If you park too long, you get a ticket.

The same thing happens in life. You put so much into it to get a certain benefit, privilege, right, something back out of it. The more you put in, the more you will see some type of result. Sometimes those results aren't what you wanted. But just deal with the shortfalls, pay the damn tickets, and keep moving forward.

You may not immediately notice the benefits of the meter, or they may be so small that you take it for granted. But they are there. Just like the friendships and good times in your life. They are there, but you may take them for granted because you don't immediately see the benefits of them.

They are the coins you put into the machine... your life. And the more you put in, the more your life has meaning. Don't let the bad things take advantage of you where you can no longer count the benefits, the blessings, that are right there in your life.


  1. Beautiful words, Michelle. I'm sorry you lost a friend but hopefully someone will read this and find the courage or will to keep 'putting in more coins'.

    1. Thanks. Life is way too short to let the bad things overshadow the good things.

  2. Excellent thought process, My Darker Grey Friend. I've felt somewhat similar concerning life, but I think I view the machine more as a slot machine rather than a parking meter. The payoffs are not necessarily commensurate with what is put in. Some people hit the jackpot; most don't. There will be payoffs aside from the jackpot, though, so enjoy those when they come. And be prepared for some bad streaks. They're inevitable.

    1. I like your analogy with the slot machine. I've never been to a casino personally, so I never thought to associate life in that manner. But it's the same all around. You have to put the work into life to get the benefits.

  3. I've know a couple of people who've committed suicide.
    I cannot fathom how deep their hopelessness much have been ...and how well they hid it.
    The hardest thing for those left behind are the what ifs.

    1. Yes, it has definitely been the "what ifs" that has people wondering if they could have done more for her. People will always be left to wonder...

    2. Uncle Skip, I think this comment hits the nail on the head. So often, people kill themselves because they've lost hope. And hope is the antidote to their despondency. That is, the ability to find meaningful goals, to motivate oneself to pursue those goals, and to see all the different ways one might achieve those goals. It's sad how often hope falls through the cracks. -TimK

  4. Would you like to add this to the others here:


People want to comment here?'s your two-cents, Bub. Spend it wisely!


Related Posts with Thumbnails

ESPN NHL Standings