37. Maintain, Restore, Let Go
It was family day, and Gerry’s grandfather and uncle came for the group. I introduced myself to them.
Gerry’s grandfather motioned for me to look out the group room window. He pointed to a Chevy pick-up that might have been made in the ‘70’s.
“It’s a work truck,” Gerry’s grandfather said. “There’s no rust on it. Four hundred fifty thousand on the odometer. I’ve worked at the same job for forty-five years, been married to the same woman for fifty. Vehicles, careers, and marriages. I always thought it was easier to maintain them than to replace them.”
There was a long pause. The older man seemed to be gathering his thoughts.
“If Gerry works for me, it will split our family apart. The only thing holding us together now is the check Gerry’s father gets as part owner of the business.”
“Wait,” I said, “Gerry’s dad is OK getting a check from the family airline, but he’s not OK with Gerry earning a paycheck there?”
“It’s complicated. Gerry’s dad, Hank, believes he’s got us over a barrel. He thinks we send him the check because we’re afraid he’ll sell his share. We send him the check because we don’t want to cut ties with him. His brothers are always hoping he’ll get sober so we can bring him back into the business. I think it may be time to hire Gerry and let Hank do what he will.”
I wasn’t sure if I saw more sadness or determination in the old man’s face.
Today I will accept maintaining is easier than restoring, but sometimes I can’t do either.
Needles Not For Knitting is a work of fiction. Any resemblance between the characters and anyone you might know is purely coincidental.
Needles Not For Knitting (c) 2017 by Ken Montrose
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