In the last few months the landscape of my life has completely changed. My life is almost unrecognizable. That's a huge deal for someone who makes changes very slowly.
Three or four months ago I found out that I would be losing my job somewhere around the end of May. That news alone was completely unsettling. A company called the store totally out of the blue and made my uncle an offer, well, that he couldn't refuse. So papers were signed, lots of money exchanged hands, and soon enough a date for closing was set. To be clear, that's closing the business.
I decided not to freak out. I looked at the numbers, considered my position, and decided that I would try to collect my unemployment for the summer. I could take the two classes needed to fulfill my educational requirement to sit for the CPA exam. I could spend lots of time with my children. I could breathe. Sounds like a good and reasonable plan.
Have you heard that quote about how we make plans and God laughs?
The last week that the store was open my uncle (my boss) was admitted to the hospital. He had been sick with a mysterious illness for more than a year but the two weeks leading up to his admittance his health took a sharp downward spiral. He needed assistance to walk just a few feet. He could not manage a simple sentence. He barely ate. He stayed in Vanderbilt for a little more than two weeks. He was discharged on a Sunday. Tuesday night he was rushed by ambulance to the hospital here. He died on Friday afternoon.
I still cannot believe that he is gone. We certainly had our disagreements as any family members are want to do, still the last 8 years he was like a father to me. I could seek advice and knowledge. I also found a level of understanding that comes from a shared gene pool. He is certainly missed by me, missed a great deal more than I could have imagined.
The day after the store closed, in the midst of my uncle's health crisis, I was hanging out in the emergency room with Farmie. It seems we are required to spend our visits with one another in medical facilities. By the end of the afternoon I was diagnosed with a detached retina in my right eye. I was sent to a specialist who at first believed he could fix my eye without a surgical procedure. This was not the case. I had surgery to correct the detachment two days after my uncle's funeral. It's been about three weeks since the surgery and my sight has mostly returned. My eye doesn't scare children away anymore but its far from normal looking.
I wish that was the end of the sadness but only 16 days after the death of my Uncle Boss, his older brother died. My family that once seemed so large seems to be shrinking in front of my eyes. I cannot believe that these two men are gone and yet they are. Truth is harsh, so is death.
All of these events have left me feeling a bit light headed. I feel untethered to the ground like I might disappear from this world altogether. I have felt sad. I've felt lost. I've felt angry. I've gone around in circles with myself, one moment full of a hateful entitlement and the next awash with humble thankfulness. I have felt a bit crazy too. I have craved some sense of direction, something familiar, something steady.
Sunday at church the message was about revival, about change. The pastor spoke of how we say we want it but cower away from real change because of the work and the mess involved. We want change if its what we have only better, if it's clean, if it's easy. Real change can get ugly. It's messy. It's not easy but it can lead to places we cannot even imagine.
The words of the pastor really hit home with me and I started to really make peace with my situation. I don't want to be right here forever, doing the same things over and over. I want to be better, be more. I want to change.