I am bruised from pinching myself! Metaphorically, anyway. One night recently, we locked the shop, loaded up and I stared for a second at our bumper sticker on Steve's car and my eyes just welled up. We have a logo...bumper stickers...for an actual SHOP. I can't believe this happened, it's beyond surreal. "How did we even get here?", I happily thought.
So many of you don't know our origins story yet - it's a long one. We saw a lot of miracles when our children came into the world. The early years with quadruplets were tough with 4 babies all at once, yet so happy. As the years went by, the challenges for one of our sons became more pronounced and life got so much harder as a family. That son almost died several times in the early weeks of his life and a no nonsense neonatologist basically told me that we shouldn't get attached to him. My mom almost tackled that doctor. It's so wild remembering those uncertain days 22 years ago.
Being a mom is my favorite thing in life, my kids are my heart. Life can just be hard, for a million reasons. I have gone through seasons when I believed I would never feel joy again, that the capacity for it had dried up and disappeared on the wind. I had previously enjoyed a natural Pollyanna mindset. A couple of years ago that "bright side, half full" perspective crashed and burned and it became work to look for the awesome in life.
At a time when I had pretty much forgotten what my dreams had been, we turned a corner and out of the blue, Steven was actually discussing the comic book store fantasy with me...for days. Previously, after only a few minutes, that conversation topic dropped like Thor's hammer. This time, we actually talked about the possibilities, researched, a cool space fell into our laps (after we were determined that downtown was definitely not an option), and we decided that this experience might be more important than the finances we'd have to pull together to create it. Risk can be awesome. After about 5 years, the dream became real and I felt the color coming back into life.
Creating the shop has been a lot of hard work, through which, I feel God made me feel alive again. Building this shop with Steve really helped me move forward through a tough season. Comics, as when I was a kid, have brought joy to my life. This amazing community is part of that joy. It's one of the greatest surprises of opening our shop - I knew our customers would be cool, but I didn't know the awesomeness of the community would touch my heart. Kindness really is a superpower.
This is more than a shop or becoming entrepreneurs. This is life. Each day I get to be at the shop feels like shiny HOPE wrapped up in Christmas - it's a gift. More than that it's proof that even when we believed with all our hearts that a dream is dead or hope is dead or the best part of life is over - it's not. Those are lies. Life can be beautiful again and sometimes bruises are just from pinching ourselves to see if we're dreaming.
Thanks for being on this journey with us and, as always, we wish you happy reading! (Please forgive my infernal grammatical errors-I need an editor.)
*SHOP NEWS: We recently stocked up on a giant haul of awesome graphic novels and for those taking advantage of our comic subscription service, all titles on your pull list will be discounted 10%! Additionally, Meadowlark Comic Con is giving away 2 con tickets with every $50+ purchase at our shop. It's a $20 value, while supplies last. See you soon!