As you know, here at Country Roads we have a bit of everything. Which it makes it really nice for Christmas shopping. . .
“What a Wonderful World”
I know, many of you are thinking that our world today just isn’t that “wonderful” but it can be if you look for it! The first time I really fell in love with Louis Armstrong’s song was, ironically at a funeral with my son Bryce. It was one of Bryce’s friend’s dad that had just passed away. The boys were in junior high school. The mom spoke so elegantly and so beautifully, and then they played, “What a Wonderful World”. I have moments, things, and events that always stay with me in life and the above was one of them. The past couple of years the change in our economy has been really hard for so many people. We’ve seen things that we never imagined we would see and heard all the horrific stories that accompany these sad situations people are forced to face in life. It’s not easy. And I always say if you are one of those that have sailed through these past couple of years and done well, I at least hope you have been willing to reach out to others that have really been through hard times.
Owning Country Roads has always been one of the things that I the proudest of! I get to work with my family and so many of our customers over these past eighteen years or so have become a part of our Country Roads family. I’m surrounded by history daily with all the great antiques that sit in our store just wishing they could tell their story! Sadly, I also hear some stories that break my heart. A little over a year ago, I had a customer named Mary that use to shop in my store with her son Jake, who was about two years old. Mary had MS and has she got worse she was unable to shop but always emailed me, and always let me know when some event was coming up for our “furry friends”. In fact, one of my dealers, Cindy Finch, ended up adopting a dog from the shelter because of an event Mary had told us about. Mary was like me, always loving animals and wanting to help them. Little did I know though that Mary was not only struggling with her own MS, but her son Jake’s, as well. And her boyfriend had just lost his job. They were about to be evicted, but you know, when I would read Mary’s emails, I had no idea. Then, one morning not long after the last email I received from Mary, I read about a murder/suicide in Orange. And when I saw that it was Mary and her son that were the victims, along with her boyfriend taking his own life after killing them I was stunned and greatly saddened. This small family was gone, just like that, because they had no place to turn. Things like this shouldn’t be happening in our world, it really shouldn’t. We all need to help when we can.
But the point of my little story here is that Mary stayed positive, she stayed happy and so in love with her little boy right up until the end. Not only business, but life too is how we choose to live it. I have customers that come up to me daily and are filled with nothing but gloom and doom. They share the horrible stories that we all know, but don’t really want to hear. When you work with the public, it truly, truly is an adventure! It’s fascinating. But along with every “BSC” customer you deal with, there are many more Mary’s in my life that choose the positive and choose hope over everything else. I see so much good in the world today, those out there helping others daily when they themselves have so little. And I too try to do my part when I can, and view the world the way Louis Armstrong did when he wrote “What a Wonderful World”. Life is about choice, and even in the darkest of days if you “choose” to be positive and look for the good in our days, you will be a better person for it.
I’m grateful for having known Mary for the short time I did. And here I am today, a year after her death being reminded of the importance of reaching out to people and our “furry friends”. People come into our lives for a reason. We may not know the reason at the time, but I’m sure it’s there. At the end of each of Mary’s email she included this quote:
"Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over. . .SHE became a butterfly"!!
As I mentioned above, life is about choice. I hope that when you are able to make a difference in someone’s life, you choose to do that. And when I think of Mary now, I think of the words Louis Armstrong wrote so many years ago, “I think to myself what a wonderful world it is”.