A Bittersweet Goodbye To Our Small Business

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It was the 31st. The last day of our business had finally arrived.

Over breakfast, my husband and I confirmed that our decision to close it had been right. It was time. After 11 years, we were ready for a change. It wasn't because of the constant hassles. (They go along with any small business.) It wasn't that the business hadn't provided for our family.

And it certainly wasn't a failure on our part. We felt good about what we had accomplished and the service we had provided over the years. But we realized that times had changed, and so had the economy. Our products just would never be in demand like they used to be. It was time to move on.

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So we walked around the empty building. It echoed now with only the memories of the equipment and inventory that had once filled it to capacity. We were reminded of the first day we had entered the building, before we had made it ours. It was filthy and dark, without any inside walls. Now, those walls left the only clues of what we had created over the years. They were a cheerful pink adobe color.

We swept out the building one last time and locked the front door. I looked down just outside and saw a two-inch round piece of painted wood. I kicked it with my foot and then picked it up, wondering what it was. Simultaneously, my husband and I realized that it was the dot from our sign that had hung above our business door. The sign had faced east, fitting for the name of our business, Rising Sun. In a moment of nostalgia, we put it in our pocket for a souvenir.

It was that little red dot that made me cry. I cried because I realized that I would actually miss our business.

I don't know if my husband cried or not. It was a private thing I did alone in the car. After I dried my tears, I looked closer at that dot. I realized that it had a lot more to say - because it was faded. It had faded in the morning sun.

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