While I still have one more week with the candy store open, yesterday (3/24) was sad. For those who follow my Facebook (Life After Lemons) and Instagram (Life_After_Lemons) accounts know that yesterday was my last Oops Bag Saturday. Ever since I started doing Oops bags back in September, they have grown in popularity. They are (were) the best value in the store. You got at least one of my homemade treats that were not pretty enough for the display case, but still tasted good, along with several candies that I carried throughout the store.
Yesterday I had 150 Oops Bags and within an hour and a half they were all gone. Also, by the end of the night all the homemade items in the display case were sold. As I walked around the store last night after closing, I tried hard not to cry as shelves that were once full of candy were either empty or full of décor/assets/fixtures I’m selling to close down the store.
I stood in the middle of the store looking at the workstation and steps that were custom made by my friend and contractor Zac Clark. I looked at the FRP paneling that was hung by my friend Amber Palmer and her boys. I am remembering the long days that turned into long nights to get the store ready. I’m remembering the soft opening, the Grand Opening, the busy days and the very slow days. I’m remembering the kids that came through the door, walking into a candy store for the very first time and their eyes so wide and their smiles so big and them saying “this is the best place ever” or “I don’t ever want to leave.”
I started to cry because these kids loved coming here for the candy, the atmosphere and to see me. The adults loved it because for most, it brought back wonderful childhood memories. I was taking all of this away from them. I feel bad, I feel guilty. All I wanted to do was bring positive energy and smiles to kids and their parents every day because the world is so negative and cruel. It is very hard these days to go somewhere cheerful and have a positive experience. Unfortunately, not enough people grasped the concept of positivity or supported the store or me.
As I looked through the gifts that were given to me yesterday, I cried. There are no words to express my love and appreciation of these special families. I know I touched some hearts during my short time in York, SC. I want these families to know how much they mean to me. They never gave up on the store, they never gave up on me, and even though I’m controversial with my topics I write about, they supported me 100%. I will never forget them, they are not just customers they are forever friends.
In my life, I question a lot of things. I question why things happen, why didn’t something happen, how am I going to fix this, what is going to happen next, why me. Basically, I’m an analytical person with questions I want answers to, but sometimes the answer isn’t ready to present itself. I know that everything happens for a reason. Which I truly do believe.
I talk to God every day. That may surprise some people who don’t know me well, but I do. I would not be here today if I didn’t. I pray for various things, for friends, for family, for pretty much life in general. There are days when Him and I don’t agree on how my life should go. That’s when I’m reminded of the Garth Brooks song “Unanswered Prayers.” Yes, I’m going to quote another song (music is a big influence on me). He sings, “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers. Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs. That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care. Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.” This is so true. At the time I’m going through things I’m upset because God did not answer my prayers, but I have to remember that he has other plans for me and I just have to trust Him.
Right now, I am not sure what His plans are for me other than he is using my Guardian Angels to make sure I know this is the path I’m supposed to follow. I whole heartily believe I was meant to move to York, SC last year, open this candy store and deal with the lemons thrown at me to make me stronger and to push me to better things. I know in my heart that I was meant to be here at this particular time to help those I’ve helped, cause people to think about controversial things, and be a part of some families who embraced me.
Even though this is all sad, I am also happy to be heading back to Pennsylvania to be with my family and friends. I am looking forward to spending time with my sister, I have already requested weekly “date night” with her where we watch one of our favorite TV shows and have dinner. I will spend some time with my mom. I will get back to regular dinners and outings with friends. I will go back to work in the corporate world. I will also continue to make candies/treats and ship them out. Making my candies actually relaxes me.
I honestly do not know how to convey to you all who came out yesterday and will stop in this week my sincerest thanks and love. This journey has been a wild one. Although this particular part of the journey is ending, do not count me out and do not consider this a failure. Consider this lesson learned so I can write a book. Plus, I am keeping my South Carolina Business License because I feel I’ll be back here someday in the future or have a business partner down here. You cannot stop a determined business woman who knows what went wrong the first time around. Failure will not happen again.