This summer has been busy at my house this year. Three of my kids have summer school for varying things. The fourth, my youngest, turns 7 soon. It seems more apparent than ever now that none are truly little anymore. Parting with that idea has been difficult for me. I loved having babies. But in many ways it has also been healing for me too. I took a year off of babysitting. I needed some time without seeing babies all the time. So there are no littles around my house this year. It has given me a chance to really focus on my family and healing from our loss.
To add to a busy schedule of summer school and daily activities, I also took on an extra shift for the summer to pay off debt. This means I work full time nights while I have also been working on building the new venture I began last year. I have kept it mostly to myself and close friends and family until recently – I am working in books! I needed to DO something, so I began buying and selling books last year. It has been an enlightening, challenging and refreshing adventure into a world in which I have previously only been a customer in the past. But it’s also helped fill my hours and gives me something to look forward to and focus on besides the typical daily routines.
I have had varying reactions when I told family and friends. Some are absolutely fascinated with the idea that I am doing something with my grief, and some who are completely appalled at the idea. I like to say like parenting, loss doesn’t come with a manual. This works for me, whether it works for others, I don’t know. In the year I’ve been at it I’ve built an inventory of about 12,500 books, which isn’t much but it sure seems like it when I do not yet have a formal office or physical store location.
But I have discovered that I love what I do. I never thought I would be interested in a venture like this before. My future goal is to open a store, with a literacy center for retired teachers and volunteers to teach reading classes and a second hand store for books and classes for people who might not otherwise have access to books or further education. For now, however, it’s small but it’s gaining momentum. But it has made such a difference for me to have something to work towards. Each one of us copes in our own way on this journey but it’s so nice to know we are not alone in this. I would love to hear some of what everyone else is doing!