It’s hard to start, harder to end
When you think about it, endings and beginnings are strange things. Beginnings are hardest, you’re fumbling around, trying to get a sense of the person, the job or the situation. Then one day, you’ve got it, and then you’re off and running.
My job here was much like that. Prior to my coming here I had never done layout before, had never used a camera before. Everything I have learned and done here at this paper has been trial and error.
I was scared those first few weeks - and beginnings tend to be scary things because it’s a dive into the unknown. But if you have the courage to move forward you might surprise yourself where you end up.
Relationships are also like that. I’ll wager some of you probably have friendships so old you cannot even begin to remember how they started. It just seems as though you’ve always known them, and that you know everything about them.
Of course, that also takes work. Relationships are the products of years of sharing, story-telling and letting someone inside. It’s a risk, and one is never quite certain how it will all end.
Ah yes. And then there are endings. Endings can be like beginnings - messy things at the start, but perhaps something beautiful down the road.
Endings are a lot like beginnings in that they are also hard. You are forced to say goodbye to something that perhaps you have grown to love.
I’m not sure what I prefer more, an ending or a beginning. Both are part of the warp and weft of the fabric of life, both are essential to shaping us and growing us as human beings.
I’ve had many beginnings, but on Sunday I had an ending, as I said my goodbye to Jo Peterson. I, and a close group of about a dozen of her friends, scattered Jo’s ashes amongst the trees, rocks and water where she spent the last 25 years.
My friendship with Jo was not perfect - we had our arguments, which is not surprising when you’re working in a stressful environment like retail. But our love always kept our bond strong.
You need that in this world, maybe now more than ever. You need love to cement the brick of everyday life together. You need people who believe in you and are willing to help you achieve your dreams.
Jo was that for me. In the 20 years that I knew her she urged me to believe in my dreams, to never let anyone make you feel ashamed of having a dream. She taught me about laughter, that it’s important to see the humor in any situation. And she taught me about love.
If it weren’t for Jo, I would not be here now, writing these words on an early Wednesday morning. When I think of all the things I had to learn at the start of this job, it was overwhelming. There were many who didn’t think I could handle it. I was one of them. I certainly had my doubts, at the beginning.
But I love my job now. I love what I do.
It’s been three years since I left Hayward and Jo, three years since I started here. My, how the time goes. I’ve been here so long that my first week almost seems like it happened to someone else.
In a way it did. That person who came to Abbotsford and Colby three years ago is gone. That person changed and became the man I am today. And if it weren’t for Jo Peterson that person would not exist.
M USINGS AND G RUMBLINGS
ROSS PATTERMANN REPORTER