FinCon 2017: Better Late Than Never

Alright, I must admit that we are a little late to the FinCon wrap-up post party.  My apologies!

But like the saying goes, better late than never.

FinCon was amazing!

Mr. Wow and I had the best time.  It was amazing to meet so many more people in this community and get to hear their stories firsthand.  Now we have faces (and voices) to put behind the words we read.

To add to it, the bbq was delightful. The beer was damn good. And the bacon and beer flight was just as good as it sounds.

BBQ from Pecan Lodge

IPA from Deep Ellum Brewing

The Bacon Flight at BrainDead Brewing

FinCon is epic, as so many posts already prove.  Check out Physician on Fire‘s stellar recap and the links to all the other post FinCon posts. Really, they’re all fantastic, and he did a great job compiling them all.  Thanks PoF!

Honestly, I could be done right now since that pretty much sums it up.

But Life Isn’t Always Amazing

As many of you know, a few months ago I vowed that I would keep to my posting schedule. I mean, come on, I only need to write a post every other week.  Shouldn’t be that hard right?


Sometimes life just gets in the way.

Unfortunately for me, post-FinCon life hit me like a ton of bricks.

It’s taken a few weeks, but I am finally starting to climb myself out of the stress and emotional hole I was in.


Street art in Dallas has a whole new meaning now.


This post might be a difficult read.

To be honest, it was a difficult one to write.

If you choose not to read it, no hard feelings. If you do make it to the end, just know that I deeply appreciate it.

 So Here Goes…

The week after FinCon was rough.

It was one of the most difficult weeks I have had in a long time.

The week started like any other week. I was on a high from the amazingness of FinCon. Albeit exhausted, I was happy, smiling all the time and loving every second.

Then Wednesday rolled around.  I was sitting having lunch with one of my interns, when I got the email.

One of my clients had passed away.

He was 2 years old.

I was crushed, bewildered, distraught.  My happiness balloon immediately popped and I was violently thrown back down into “real life”.

Questions began racing through my head.

How did this happen? Why this kid?

He was only 2 years old.

That day is nothing but a blur to me now.  I couldn’t even find the words to tell Mr. Wow that night.

It’s Not Always Rainbows and Butterflies

The Wednesday prior, I was having the time of my life and a week later, I was facing one of life’s most sobering moments.

And unfortunately, this isn’t my first time.  Within my eight years of practice, this is the fourth time I’ve dealt with the death of a young client.

Despite dealing with it in the past, the death of a child is impossible to come to terms with.

Even the pastor at the service couldn’t make sense of it.

And let me tell you, going to that service was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

Watching the boy’s parents completely break down during their speech and then hearing the emotional sobbing  emitted from the crowd, there are no words to explain the pain that was felt in that room.

I tried to hold it together, but eventually my emotions got the best of me. Even as I write these words, the tears begin to fill my eyes.  It never gets any easier.

I still don’t think that I have fully come to terms with it.  Not sure if I ever will.  But I have tried my best to embrace the emotions and find the good in life, regardless of how hard this has been.

I am honored to have gotten the chance to know this precious boy and his family. I am blessed to be a part of the community that came together to celebrate his life.

A monarch just hanging out in my garden

The Importance of Community

Honestly, one of the main things that kept me going that week and the weeks following was this community.  The posts, the tweets, the comments and the podcasts were the only thing that made me smile.  They were the only thing to look forward to.  The virtual hugs made all the difference in the world.

It was this community that made going through such a difficult situation, even the slightest bit more bearable.

I have found my tribe and I’m so glad I have.

Finding Gratitude in Hard Times

Facing an unexpected and unexplained death has made me realize the significance of surrounding myself with good people.  Being that it is the week of Thanksgiving, I wanted to take a moment to give thanks to my old friends, my new friends and to those friends I have yet to meet.  You have added so much value to my life.

You have pushed me to be a better person. You have challenged me.  You have consoled me in times of distress.  You have solidified my life’s purpose.

You all have done so much more than you will ever know and for that I am forever thankful.

This was by no means an easy post to write, but come to think of it, life isn’t easy.  Life isn’t always explainable.  But sometimes it sends a message right when you need it. Just as I was finishing this post, this song came on.

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb


  • Gwen @ Fiery Millennials November 22, 2017 at 4:37 am

    Yep. Definitely cried reading this. **Hugs** we love you Mrs Wow! I am incredibly grateful we not only got to meet but that I got to spend so much one on one time with you in both Ecuador and Dallas! Thanks for being in my life, too 🙂

    Note: none of this applies to Mr. WoW. I hate that guy for being so loud and obnoxious.

    …..or do I? 😉
    Gwen @ Fiery Millennials recently posted…I’m Turning Down 2.7 Million Dollars

    • Mrs WoW November 22, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      Can’t say I didn’t warn you. Hopefully you found a unoccupied room to read it in or you might have gotten some strange looks from your coworkers.

      Loud and obnoxious? Mr.Wow? #nailedit

  • Accidental Fire November 22, 2017 at 4:47 am

    So sorry for your loss. You’re right, when surrounded by good people one can get through anything.

    • Mrs WoW November 22, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      Having a support system definitely makes it easier. I wish it didn’t happen the way it did, but I am glad that I had some amazing people to help me through it.

  • Mrs. Adventure Rich November 22, 2017 at 4:48 am

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your 2-year-old client… hearing that breaks my heart. Sending you a virtual hug right now!

    I am glad I was about to meet you and Mr. WOW in Dallas 🙂 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    Mrs. Adventure Rich recently posted…A Brief Turkey Day Thank You

    • Mrs WoW November 22, 2017 at 4:34 pm

      Thanks for the virtual hug! I’m so thankful that I got the chance to meet you too.

  • Miss Mazuma November 22, 2017 at 4:59 am

    So sorry, friend. Sending as many hugs as possible through the inter web and more to come in person (hopefully soon!!). Though I know it’s a difficult time for you right now, know that your smile lights the room around you. The work you do and the people you help inspires our whole community. I am so grateful to know you and be able to call you both friends.

    • Mrs WoW November 22, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      Wow, your comment just made my day. It’s definitely been a rough time and I know that I haven’t been as happy as I usually am, but I’m slowly getting back to my old self. I am beyond thankful to have gotten the chance to get to know you these past few months. Hopefully we’ll see you in LA again soon.

  • Mrs. Groovy November 22, 2017 at 5:05 am

    I can’t even imagine being at that service. I’m so sorry for your loss. I don’t see how it would be possible to come to terms with it yet. It’s going to take time for it to stop feeling raw.

    Gotta love Miley Cyrus — just when you’re about to write her off she comes out with a good song. (Although can’t say I remember another one.)

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    Mrs. Groovy recently posted…What a Great Way to Start the Week: Choose FI

    • Mrs WoW November 22, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      Oh Miley, I guess she doesn’t always come in like a “Wrecking Ball” and actually puts out some decent tunes. To be honest, I have been listening to that song on repeat for the past few days. Though I prefer the cover version I posted. Those guys make an ok song even better. Thank you for you kind words Mrs.G!

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach November 22, 2017 at 6:20 am

    I’m sure that’s the worst feeling in the world. So sorry you had to go through that. 🙁
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…My Happy Place

    • Mrs WoW November 22, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      Definitely a feeling that I wish nobody ever has to experience and I hope that I don’t go through that again either.

  • Fritz @ TheRetirementManifesto November 22, 2017 at 6:25 am

    The extremes of life, in one short week. The joy of being with “your community”, and the mourning of the loss of an innocent life. So sad, and makes the importance of the joy all the more obvious. Enjoy life as we live it, we never know when it will end. It will end, ro each of us. Realize it, and embrace life while you live it. Even when it includes mourning. The rain makes the sunshine brighter. Soak up those rays, and be thankful for the days with sun. Sorry for the loss of your young innocent client. Sad as I read your words, but thankful as I look out my window at the sun.

    • Mrs WoW November 22, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      Quite a juxtaposition of the two. Experiencing something like this has definitely made me pause and embrace my current life. And I have to say that I smiled when I saw the sun this morning after reading your post.

  • FinCon17 Recap: The Conference That Doesn't Sleep - Physician on FIRE November 22, 2017 at 7:38 am

    […] FinCon 2017: Better Late Than Never | Waffles on Wednesday […]

  • Physician on FIRE November 22, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Tough stuff. Unfortunately, when your job involves helping people with illness, they sometimes get sicker. So sad that it was a young child in this case.

    I haven’t lost a patient in the operating room, but I’ve been the last person to speak to more dying people than I care to count. The OR can be a last ditch effort when the decision makers want to do “everything possible,” when a peaceful goodbye without the insult of surgery would have been much better.

    I feel for you.


    • Mrs WoW November 22, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      Death is never easy, but being that it was such a young kiddo, it was even harder. I guess I thought that by going into pediatrics I wouldn’t have to deal with death, but boy was I wrong. As hard as it was, I am glad that I went to the service. I wasn’t able to go to any of the other ones and it has definitely haunted me a little.

  • Mr. PIE November 22, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Sending hugs your way. It’s just heartbreaking reading this and trying to imagine parents putting their baby to rest.

    The climb can be tough. I hear you. But the ride down the other side is always beautiful.

    It was a blast hanging out with you both at FinCon and I hope I get the chance to meet you both again sometimes soon. All the best.

    Mr. PIE
    Mr. PIE recently posted…COBRAs and Elephants, Oh My! Navigating the Healthcare Zoo in Early Retirement

    • Mrs WoW November 22, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      Just gotta keep climbing! It won’t always be easy or pretty, but it will definitely be worth it in the long run. I loved hanging out with you too. BTW, I passed a huge sign today indicating that a store had a Bitcoin machine. I couldn’t get a picture in time, but it made me smile and think of our Buzz’s Kitchen experience.

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher November 22, 2017 at 8:09 am

    I am so sorry you went through something so gut-wrenching. This is definitely a time to reflect and value the time we have on this Earth, as well as all the great things that come with life. <3
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…My Cheap DIY Financial Advent Calendar

    • Mrs WoW November 22, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      Completely agree! Besides making me sad, it has also made me think and recognize the importance of living the life we want now. You just never know how long you have to do it!

  • Mr. FWP November 22, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    I am really sorry about your loss – that is so incredibly difficult. I am glad you took away some really meaningful things from it and were able to walk through it. On a lighter note, if it makes you feel better, we too, were slammed (though not like that!) upon return from FinCon, so my FinCon post is going up this week too – I am finishing it now.

    • Mrs WoW November 23, 2017 at 8:37 am

      Clearly there is no judgement on my end and I still haven’t read all the recaps too (Shh! Don’t tell anyone). I’ll wait for yours and then finish reading them all.

  • Cubert November 23, 2017 at 3:59 am

    Thank you for sharing, Mrs. Wow. I hope the parents can find the peace and strength they’ll need over the coming days, weeks, and years. If nothing else, we are all reminded how limited our time is and to enjoy every moment. Especially those moments with our little ones.

    • Mrs WoW November 23, 2017 at 8:43 am

      The father of one of my other clients who unexpectedly passed started a Stolen Moments campaign for this very reason. He urged people to take these moments with their children and just have fun. Enjoy everything because you never know how long you have.

  • Michael November 25, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    I just read your post and I’m so sorry for your loss.

    As a parent of a 1 year old and a 3 year old, the loss of my children is my greatest fear.

    While I don’t truly know what your patient’s parents are going through, the extent to which I cherish my kids and the numerous times I’ve reflected on the possibility of losing them gives me at least a point of reference for the magnitude of the pain and loss they’ve been put through.

    If we ever have to live through a nightmare like that, I would want someone with your warmth and empathy with us and our children.

    Through the good times and through the darkness, you are doing brave and important work.

    • Mrs WoW November 25, 2017 at 10:02 pm

      Nice to see you around these parts Michael! The feelings that I felt were awful and I do not even have kids of my own; I can only imagine what the parents went through.

      “Through the good times and through the darkness, you are doing brave and important work”- Thank you for this! My job is far from easy as this post reveals, but the difference I can make for the kiddos and their families is worth all of the darkness.

  • Michael November 26, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Sorry for not commenting previously. I’m just not a great blog commenter. I’d be surprised if I’ve commented on 5 blogs in the history of forever. I don’t think I’ve ever commented at MMM’s site even though I’ve gone through the exercise of reading all posts and all comments there twice, for example.

    Perhaps I should make getting out more and saying hi in blog comments a new year’s resolution.

    Keep doing what you’re doing knowing that me and my fellow lurkers enjoy your writing.

  • Mr. Tako November 27, 2017 at 11:03 am

    In my mind, the death of children is always hardest. They’re so young, innocent and ready to live. I feel like they deserve that chance.

    If I could imagine the worst thing in the world that could happen to me, it wouldn’t be a financial disaster — it would be a serious illness in one of my children.

    Stay strong Mrs. Wow. Things do get better.
    Mr. Tako recently posted…Holidays And Relatives

    • Mrs WoW November 27, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      Thanks Mr.Tako! Although I do not have kids of my own, my clients pretty much become a part of my family, as I become a part of theirs. It is definitely going to take some time to process, but going through this has made me appreciate the time that I have with people, however long or short that it is.

  • FIRECracker November 27, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Oh no, that’s terrible. So sorry to hear that, Mrs. Wow. That poor little boy and his parents. It’s so hard to understand when people pass away suddenly but when it’s an innocent little 2 year old boy?! I can’t even imagine the pain the parents must be going through.

    You’re right that at this dark time the only thing you can do is turn to friends and family for support. It’s a reminder that no matter how much money you have in the bank, the only thing that really matters is the people you love.

    Sending you lots of hugs.
    FIRECracker recently posted…Guest Interview: Life and Money Lessons from Jail Part 2

    • Mrs WoW November 27, 2017 at 8:53 pm

      You’re so right FIRECracker! As hard as going to the service was, I went up to the boy’s mother following the service, despite being at a loss for words and doing everything in my power to hold back tears. All she said to me was, “You came!”. In that moment, I knew it was the right decision to attend and that she appreciated my presence. A support system makes all the difference in the world!

  • wendy November 29, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Oh man, I’m so sorry, my heart hurts for you, the family, and all his friends…
    Big hugs!

    • Mrs WoW November 29, 2017 at 7:17 pm

      Thanks Wendy! It was a rough time, but slowly each day is getting better. Hope you are doing well!


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