Sunday, July 22, 2012

Half-Century Down - Almost Halfway There!

My favorite uncle always said life ain't so hard, it's just that first hundred years. I miss him.
It's been rough finding my way this past year, but I think I'm ready to begin this next half-century...maybe...
It's been a year since Borders died and I have felt the loss quite keenly. Instead of receiving an email with a coupon for a free coffee for my birthday last year, I got the email informing faithful Borders Rewards members about the end of that era. Oh, sure, they didn't just shut the doors. They had a Going Out of Business sale so we got to pick away at it like vultures until it finally emptied completely. I was surprised how intensely that store closure changed my perspective. Quite honestly, I grieved the loss of a dear loved one - me.

Almost every Sunday for the better part of a decade, I had indulged my inner self at Borders Cafe. I knew baristas by name and they knew me. It was a comfort zone on my favorite day of the week. I wrote the majority of my graduate papers there, including the Big One. I escaped there for peace when I could find none anywhere else. I met friends, made friends and even hid from friends there.

And now it's just gone. The once-busy parking lot is a vast, empty space. Last fall a temporary Halloween store went in. I stayed out. Now a fence around it says a new store is finally going into the space. It's time to move on.

Of course, a year of wondering why it hit me so hard has led me on a journey that I needed to take. Here I am now realizing the death of Borders was the culmination of several years of pain and struggle. Over those years I struggled with the gamut, as it were. Work issues, continuing education issues, family issues, financial issues and, finally, the death of the aforementioned uncle and his wife, my favorite aunt. It just all came to a head right there when those doors finally closed.

Now I see it as a new beginning. It's time to let it go and move on to the next part of my life. The kids are doing well now. My marriage is stronger than ever. My degree is complete. I have a beautiful granddaughter and just found out another grandchild is on the way. I can't be the child anymore and look to my auntie for support, but I have others to hold me up. It's my turn to start being the eldest generation and I think that's what bothered me most. Will I have the wisdom? Can I be strong enough? How can I hope to follow in those footsteps?

Then it hits me: they felt that way once, too. I'll manage.

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