Tuesday, August 4, 2015

How Could I khave Known: alove letter to the People's Food Co-op of Kalamazoo

My Dearest PFC,
How could I have known when I walked into your cramped storefront, holding my application to be your new Front End Manager how important that decision  was  or how you were to impact my life?
A long haired woman with flowing skirts accepted my filled out application, she called me "hon" after taking the application from me.

At the time, I thought I knew everything about everything. I was wrong. I didn't know anything, I didn't know anything about myself, family, community or faith,you have taught me about all of those things in the five years we have known each other.

In the days, weeks, months and years after the stroke, you have stood by me, patiently holding my hand as I discovered myself though tragedy. You accepted me at my worst, you made me feel like I fit in somewhere when I felt I fit nowhere, you made me feel normal and extraordinary when I never thought I would be either of those things ever again. As I delved into the darkest depths of my depression and came out on the other side knowing more about myself than I ever thought I would, you and your staff loved the new person who came out of that cocoon of darkness and despair, you accepted her when she needed someone to say, "it's ok, we like you, just as you are."

your workers we the first responders to my husband's late night call alerting you that Charlotte's birth had gone awry, your manager's were the first to see me in the hospital's ICU. My foggy memories of the ICU are filled with your laughter, reassurances and watching your staff members cradle my precious baby when I couldn't I felt your healing energy and the care you had for me, even though we had only just met.

Your staff constructed a system(the PFC loves systems!) to get me good food and good company three times a week while I was literally was trying to get back on my feet. These visits gave me something to look forward to when things looked their bleakest, when I was so desperate to return to your warm embrace.

You found new and creative ways to incorporate me back into your hustle and bustle when I could barely walk, you watched, waiting, patiently and faithfully, knowing I would eventually be able to work as I used to. You never gave up on me, even when I have wanted to give up on myself.

Even today, you are my safe haven, my safe space where I can just be the new me I have become.

As I've grown into this new version of me, I have built my new values, that look nothing like the values I had before, because of all of the time I have spent in your loving embrace.

You have never left me, and I will never leave you.

Thank you,
your most devoted,

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