Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Let Your Heart Lead the Way

Often times I’ve been criticized for letting my heart, rather than my head, lead my way in life. I know a little of each would make a better combination, especially in business. But after living your life a certain way for so many years, as in listening to my heart rather than my head, change is often hard to come by. I have always felt, yes even in my business, that listening to my heart will lead me down the right path in regards to not only my personal life but my business life as well. I’m always for the underdog; I’m always willing to give someone a chance, especially when they need it. I believe that is what makes Country Roads so unique and so different than other stores. We are more than just a business, more than just a store; we are a family that cares about others.

At the end of this past February, I had been sick and off work for a couple of weeks. That in itself is something that is very rare for me. Country Roads is such a part of me, that I really did miss being there. For those of you that follow my blog (www.mycountryroads.blogspot.com) you may be familiar with this story. My oldest daughter, Brande, was working that day and took the call. One of my customer’s sisters called the store. Her sister, Faith Seiber, has been shopping with me since day one. Over all these years, we have become very good friends. Her sister had called because she was concerned about Faith’s layaway that was due. And then her sister told Brande that she didn’t want to have it forfeited because Faith had died and Faith’s daughter wanted the last piece of furniture her mom had picked out. Brande kindly asked if she minded telling her what happened, how she died. Her sister said that her new husband had shot her in the head, the bullet passed through her head and hit Faith’s dog, who did survive. Even as I write these words, two months later, they still sting, they are fresh, like a new wound.

Faith would come in about once a month, and it was the same ritual. She would pick up a layaway, start a new one, and then buy something as well. And she always loved plants and spent a great deal of time out back in our Johnnye Merle Gardens & Nursery! When Faith came to the counter, it wasn’t a customer I was talking to, it was a friend. After all these years, after all the things we had shared, we had become such good friends. Her and I had a lot of catching up to do. We all loved her visits. The last time I saw Faith, she hadn’t been in for awhile. She told me she had gotten married and I thought it was to a guy she had been previously dating. But it was someone new. Apparently this new someone didn’t care much for antique and vintage items. After hearing what happened to Faith, I immediately paid off her layaway. There would be no way my heart would allow me not to do this. I wanted her daughter to have this piece of furniture. It was the right thing to do and I never thought twice about it.

A few weeks had passed and I had kind of forgotten about someone coming in to pick up the layaway. Then on a random Saturday, I saw this young woman, about the same age as my oldest daughter, Brande, walk up to the counter. I knew immediately who it was. It was Faith’s daughter, and she had brought a friend to help take the piece of furniture home. I wasn’t sure what to say, but my heart led the way. We started our walk to the last building of the store. I didn’t say much except that to tell Chloe I had no words to say, as she began to choke up and tell me that just being in her mom’s favorite store was so hard as I told her I understood. We got to where the piece of furniture was, and I walked with her and her friend as they carried it to the back gate, where they were parked. At times like this, you want to say something meaningful, profound and comforting all at once. I was at a loss for words. So, I let my heart lead the way once again. I walked up to Chloe, took her in my arms, and gave her a hug. At times like this, words aren’t really needed when you trust your heart to lead the way. You will be missed Faith!


  1. I read your blog everyday (countryroads) and just happened to click this link. I am so glad I did. What a touching, sad, disturbing story. I am so sorry for your loss! Poor Faith! I hope her husband is behind bars forever! This story is a reminder that sometimes the best things to say is nothing at all. I can tell your heartfelt hug was all the daughter wanted at the time.

    I wish I could visit your shop in person! Maybe one of these days! I love "looking around" at all your great finds!

  2. Hi!
    I have just become one of your latest followers. I came over from The Boston Lady, and I know I'll enjoy checking in here.

    I just love stories, so I'll be reading here for some time to catch up. As well antique stores feel me with nolstagic good memories of putzing around various antique stores with Mom and her sister. Every now and then I like to go to one local antique place just for that familiar feeling. So I feel at home looking in with Country Roads as well.

    Just wanted to say Hi and let you know I enjoyed looking in today!