The in-between stages of life—or organizations—or churches—or periods like engagement or between high school and college or more unpleasantly—in hospice care and knowing you won’t get well but you’re not quite ready to die yet either, are difficult.
One could say Valley Living is kind of like in hospice care right now. We have had a great run—26 years entering our 27th—of a successful print publication and in the winter issue sent out what was planned as a “final request” for your support to see if it would run another year or more. We were aiming for a fundraising goal of $10,000 set by the board.
We raised a little more than half ($6,000) of the funds needed to keep Valley Living alive and sustainable (see news item on page 5). So, rather than end it prematurely, it seemed good to the board and staff to publish two more issues, spring and summer, of the finest magazine we could and which you have come to love and expect, and then with dignity, slip peacefully off the publication scene.
But the in-between stages are where we can learn much about our friends, our families, and ourselves. We were excited to receive more than we ever have in a fundraising campaign, and even more blessed to hear from people like the couple who called to find out if the paper was continuing and said they so looked forward to the positive and encouraging stories they find in its pages. Like many others, they also love doing the Word Search puzzles, a trademark of this magazine which my own daughters spent some years designing.
Those of us who like to work with planned schedules, clear expectations and checking things off lists don’t do so good in the not-yet phases of life. We want to either quit and be done, or get on with it—on to the next project or task. Treading water? Yes.
But enjoying the water? Yes, it is possible, even though it’s messy. For those of you wondering how it affects me personally, in case you hadn’t noticed I’m old enough now to retire (from this very part-time side job), and had asked the board to find a replacement for me this spring anyway. So I’m hanging on for the summer issue although we haven’t ruled out a new editor and are talking to an interested prospect if the winds should change. We also need new board leadership if the paper and organization is to continue.
I have to think of the Easter story and the resurrection themes we look for in our celebrations at this time of year. New flowers, buds on trees, birds returning, babies of all kinds hatching. Yes, there will be life after Valley Living, whether it needs to fold, or by some Easter miracle experiences a resurrection. And we know that good people everywhere, especially in this community, will continue to do as founder Eugene Souder envisioned, “Light a candle rather than curse the darkness.”
At least I invite you to do that going forward: take up the motto and be the change you wish to see, be positive and encouraging in the difficulties of life, and know that whatever lies ahead, God does go with us. Hugs.
Melodie Davis, editor, firstname.lastname@example.org