Thursday, October 2, 2008

Always Darkest...

This week has been a very sad one for me.

On Monday, I learned that my parents, who have owned their own small business for the past twenty some-odd years, will be losing it come December 31st. It was a business that my dad especially put his heart and soul into, and with it goes their livelihood. They're worried, naturally, about finances. About whether or not they'll be able to find jobs in this economy. About starting over in their 60's. I can't say those fears are unfounded.

I haven't always seen eye-to-eye with my parents, but I still love them, and their loss still pains me. I hadn't quite recovered from their news when I got the phone call Tuesday morning that my uncle, who was very dear to me, died unexpectedly of a heart attack while he was visiting his wife in the ICU. My aunt's not expected to make it much longer either.

I've cried more these past few days than I have in several years, until I didn't think there could possibly be any more tears. But then I'd see something, or hear something, or think something, and it would set me off again--the bench my uncle made for me when I was seven that has probably seen better days, but which I've always found a special place for wherever I've lived, or the antique fishing pole he gave me when I got married, making me promise we'd go fishing together the coming spring.

The coming spring, I was pregnant, and we never did go fishing. Of all the regrets I have, somehow that one eats at me the most. Still, I know he wouldn't want me to wallow in sadness. He'd tell me to buck up and get on with life, just as he'd done any number of times in his own. Despite whatever hardships he faced--and there were many--he was always kind, always positive, and always determined. It's what I loved most about him.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about my own life lately and what I want to do with it. I'm blessed with the option to choose which direction I take it, but I've squandered perfectly good opportunities in favor of waiting for the "right time" to take advantage of them. When will I ever learn? If anything, this week has reminded me that there is no right time, there is only right now.

Although I'd already planned to go back to school before all of this happened, this cemented the decision for me. Now I'm all signed up to begin my first class in a one year online digital design program at the Art Institute on Monday. It's the first step toward a career in graphic design, which has always interested me.

I'm nervous and excited, but most of all, I'm grateful--for the parents who raised me, and the uncle who inspired me.

16 comments:

amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay said...

I am sorry about yr loss- I am proud that yr claiming yr new prize though- going after an interest is great!

Lilacspecs said...

I'm sorry to hear about your dad's business. but congrats on starting something new and intersting.

Momma, The Casual Perfectionist said...

I'm so sorry to hear about all these sad things happening all at once for you. :( But, good luck with your classes!

sybil law said...

Ugh.
What a crap week!
Sorry to hear about the terrible losses.
Glad to hear you're grabbing life by the horns.
Good luck in the online school thing!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I'm so sorry about the losses and stress. I wish your parents well.
Good luck with what you are undertaking!

Janie said...

Girl. That sucks for your parents and y'all.

I'll be praying.

Janie said...

Congrats on your pursuit of a graphic arts degree. There's good money in that, and it's obvious from your blog that you're good at it, already!

Avery Gray said...

Thanks so much for all the well-wishes, everyone. I'm feeling better with each passing day, remembering the good times. I take comfort in knowing that my uncle didn't suffer. Of course, tomorrow is his funeral, and I'm sure that will be tough, but it will be nice to see the family. What a way to do it, though.

Leendaluu said...

I'm so sorry about your parents' business and about your aunt and uncle. Those memories of your uncle are so warm though, and they will sustain you and each time you look at the bench and the pole, you will remember him.

Best
l.

Kara said...

So very sorry to hear about your parents business. My parents are self-employed (along with my hubbs) and it can be frightening - especially during these crap-tackular financial times.

Also - very sorry to hear about your Uncle, he sounds like a really cool guy and it sounds like he was really appreciated.

loveyh said...

(((Avery)))

You know I'm damn proud of you. Give your parents all my support when you see them.

Mike said...

Avery, that's excellent that you've turned emotionally difficult times into a positive result. Nicely done. And good luck with class!

Nan said...

Wow, talk about taking the crap and making something good come out of it! I hope your parents do okay. My business is going shite right now too... this economic crisis is going global. At least my husband has a good job, but I really miss my cash! You'll do great with your course. Look at how cool your blog is, already!

Jo Beaufoix said...

So sorry about your Aunt and Uncle. They sound very special. And I wish your parents all the luck in the world, this must be a very worrying time for them. Hugs to you lovely, and well done on the career step, that took guts but I'm sure you'll be great.

meleah rebeccah said...

I am so sorry for your loss, and my heart truly goes out to your parents. I cant even begin to imagine what they are feeling / going through.

This sentence really hit me:

"there is no right time, there is only right now."

How profound.

Lizzi said...

Prayers & hugs for you and your family.....

I think you're making an exceptional pitcher of lemonade.