Hope

I usually stick to gallery business but once in a while…I throw in a story. The past weeks have been full of things that have happened to you… to me and to others…and there are things that I would like to say.

Some of you know me and others don’t. I’ve worked in the Printing Industry for more years than I care to let on. I don’t have grey hair yet but reading glasses are definitely coming into play. I’ve already purchased 1.0 readers from Rite-Aid with a scowl. I work during the day, which allows me to have the gallery, opening it only at night. I’ve worked with the same folks, grown with them, cried with them and thankfully have had many more laughs with them than a person has a right to. I wouldn’t trade those years for all the money in Saudi Arabia. You can’t buy the love I hold inside for each and every uniquely lovable one of them. Well, there might be one exception…but I figure karma will take care of him.

Our company had 3 owners originally and I learned from and respected each one for their individual gifts. We lost our “Money Man” one month ago to a sudden heart attack. He was semi-retired and enjoying his life and it hurt his family tremendously… the suddenness and finality of his death. He was a good man. We lost our “Big Boss Man” today. He had been retired for many years but he was my mentor and our founder and very dear to all our worn and withered, printer hearts. He hired me 21 years ago, actually patting me on the butt and sending me into the pressroom…like a lamb to the slaughter. I was a very young 30, without an ounce of confrontational skills, working with men I knew who would not take me seriously. Such was my very first day. I still howl at that memory and wonder at the respect I ultimately came to earn… and the fierce protectors and champions each and every one of them came to be around me. Tonight, my heart goes out to both Families because I know what it is to lose a beloved Father. I would not want to endure it again. The last owner asked me to send a mass email….and in it I said the things I knew had to be said to be proper…but I finished with something about how Gutenberg was about to learn exactly “How it’s really done” 😉 Chuck would have liked that and I owed him.

I looked out into the shop today and watched the faces I have come to love. I see an economy that hurts our industry and make me fearful for all these people around me. I do not know what the future holds and with times as they are, people are amazed to find that I do not watch TV or read the newspaper. I am an optimist by nature and do not like being brought into the harsh realities the news wants to pull us down into. I may be naive in my own little world but I will continue thus so because I will not be polluted by negativity. Bad news sells, along with Brangelina appearances and American Idol songs. But If my mind can stay positive with the world in turmoil, I win a battle every day. I can smile at my fellow man in hopes of making them wonder at what simple secret I hold… that they do not. Fact is, you can choose to be positive in your own mind…or you can make it seem as hopeless as you like. For me, if the sky falls tomorrow, I’m going to be searching for a way to lift it. I was given this life by the grace of God and I almost screwed it up once…I wouldn’t dare waste it again.

Take a good look around you. If you can say you have one friend, if you have clothes on your back, if your children have enough food to eat and if you still have breath in your lungs…you are better off than allot of people who deserve better than their circumstances have given them. If I lose my job tomorrow, if I lose the gallery next, I will still be who I am. I can and will go on and I don’t need the government or Hollywood or the news people to tell me what to feel. And I will make a new dream out of whatever is left from the ashes of the old.

Don’t let the negativity surrounding you…infect you. Keep on going. Don’t look back. Hell, don’t even look sideways. Just keep on going straight. Plant some goodness in your soul and a smile on your face because people need to see it. ..and they need to know it’s ok to have hope.

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6 Responses to “Hope”

  1. Well said! I too am an optimist. I like staying positive, I smile a lot and enjoy life. I don’t watch tv (unless it’s Food TV, Travel Channel, National Geographic or the channel that shows Mike Rowe/Dirty Jobs and How It’s Made).

    I can’t stand the news…it angers me. I personally think the media is BAD. A good friend told me years ago that ignorance is bliss. I have to agree with her. 🙂

  2. Tam, if I could hug you in person, I would…so it’ll have to be a big one from cyberspace. Keep that smile on your face. I’m damn proud to know you.

    You know…I probably should take a look at that Dirty Jobs show. My sister has been trying to get me to watch it forever. I do confess, if there’s ever a show I hear about on Pirates, sinking ships and buried treasure, I will turn the dang box on! 🙂

    My very best wishes to you and your Family

  3. I’m so blessed to have you as my friend. Although the future may be different then what we dreamed, it will be wonderful and good in it’s own way. We’ll get through this.

  4. Jamie, you are my heart and soul…and you never fail to put a smile on my face or another mad idea in my brain. Together, no doubt we we could take on the whole world…God help those in our way when we do!

    😉 H

  5. Juliane Says:

    On the day you wrote this, Al won the Halibut Fishing Derby. The thing is , he won it with our dad’s Rod. He was very proud to say so. I guess he had hoped he would win and he did. Hope comes in all sizes, someone up there is looking out for you.

  6. You know Pop is smiling down on that one Julie 😉

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