This year I received a surprise tax refund. I made less than I expected last year, thanks to my brief interlude being self-employed, and was pleasantly surprised to receive tax money back (rather than owe the IRS).
I had the money in my account for 24 hours, and during that time, I wondered aloud what I should spend it on. New furniture? A small vacation? A new camera I have been coveting? I commented to my family that for the first time since I started filing taxes, I didn't need to spend my refund on car repairs.
Then my son, D, came to visit. He drove to my house. It's his first car, one that he scrimped and saved for, and it was the first time he drove it to my house.
Being temporarily financially endowed, I offered to buy him a new set of tires. He was excited by that, so we drove his car to Pep Boys. It died in the parking lot. Two days later, the repair costs and new tires came out to more than $1,000.
He drove away this afternoon, in a nice-running car with tires that actually grip the road rather than slip and slide, and a full tank of gas. I was happy to see him drive away in a safer car.
My bank account is empty again. But my heart is full.