Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Project 365 - December 29, 2015

Change is Coming

Marilyn and Howie

It is all around me.  I can feel it. 

Change, it is inevitable. From the day we are born there is change. Not only are our bodies changing on a daily basis, whether it is developing and growing when we are children or healing when we are sick or injured, but everything around us changes on a daily basis.

Sometimes these changes come in batches. That is what I am feeling today. The New Year is almost here. 2016, it will be the year that I retire from Broward County government after 35 years of public service.  Although I moved from job to job throughout my 35 years, I have only ever worked in my professional career for Broward County. It is a scary move, but also a point in my life where I can do what I am most passionate about.

So as that May 31 date hovers in the near future, there are other changes.

Joel finally landed a job that he is  passionate about in the creative industries. He started two weeks ago and I have never seen him more content, more satisfied and comfortable. I am thankful and very happy for him. It has been a long road, but I believe this has only made him more appreciative for where he is today.

Adina is home once again. Midway through her junior year at Indiana State University, she has made a very tough decision to transfer to a Florida university.  She will take all of her remaining general education classes at Broward College in January and then transfer to Florida Atlantic University in the fall to finish her Forensic Anthropology major.

Rachel is now handling 19 malls throughout the country through her job at Goodman PR.  She is now coming to understand the significance of the responsibilities that have been given to her.  At 25 (in a few days), she has acheived so much in this position.

In addition to this job, Rachel has created a small business for herself.  She hand-paints designs on white mugs and has been selling them on Etsy.com.  She surprised herself with the quantity of orders she has already received.

I am about to embark on a freelance public relations job for a company that handles the various needs of condominium and homeowners associations. That will keep me very busy on nights and weekends after the holidays are over.  HOpefully this will develop into a larger job and/or more freelance jobs after I retire.  I anticipated that this might happen and that I might find some arts consulting jobs so I created an LLC for myself, Out of the Box Creative Communications LLC. 

And the biggest and saddest change of all came last night.  We all knew it was inevitable, but no matter how much you try to prepare, you are never ready when the call comes.

My uncle Howie has been ill for so very long.  Many different ailments and complications that stemmed from his prostate cancer, glaucoma and kidney failure.  We all knew, as he did, that his time was limited.  He was a trooper over the six years that he battled these challenges.  He did so with bravery, humor and love. He spent all of his time with Aunt Marilyn who in turn, cared for him with such detail that sometimes he told her off!  With love of course.

I do believe that he waited until Hal, his son, my cousin, flew down, held his hand and told him that he loved him.  I watched my uncle's eyelids flutter as both Hal and I laid our hands on his shoulders and told him that we were with him and we were all going to be okay and we would take care of Marilyn. He never woke up, but seemed to settle back on the pillow and relax. That was about 2:30 pm.

At 7:30 pm as we were all sitting around our dining room table eating Chinese food, the call came. We were just talking about Howie and telling our best memories when that phone rang.  We all knew.  A hot pain went through my body and laid my fork on the dinner plate. Memories of that moment when I knew my mom was gone flooded back. It was a familiar feeling. Not terrible, but sad nonetheless. 

I knew that we had to get the word to my cousin Roni who is in India on a month-long Yoga retreat.  So I went onto Facebook and sent her a cryptic private message to call me, now.  She did and I handed the phone to Hal. 

The rest of the evening was spent spilling a few tears, talking about the weird coincidences and more of our memories of Howie.

Changes.  They will always come and we need to be like a branch in the wind and bend or else we will break.