My parents often joked that I seemed to be closely related to my Aunt Janet and Uncle Byron because of the entrepreneurial spirit we had in common. I do remember being fascinated with the fact that my aunt and uncle did not work outside of the family businesses. I perused their Shaklee products stored inside the family home when we visited them. I wondered how the food bars (which I thought were delicious), supplements and products that lined their shelves possibly supported a family.
I was raised with the concept that you got a good education, got a good job and retired from said job at the end of a lifetime. I tried, rather unsuccessfully, to fit inside that model even before the entrepreneurial bug hit me. I can’t say that I longed for the entrepreneurial lifestyle, but I recognized it immediately as a legitimate way of life when the doors were opened to me. It was as familiar as family.
My Aunt Janet and Uncle Byron had lived it right in front of me. We didn’t live nearby. In fact, we often lived overseas, but our visits with their family always felt like coming home. When you move a lot there is a lot of inconsistency in your life, but the thread of family ran deep through our lives. The faith, entrepreneurial spirit and firm foundation my Aunt Janet and Uncle Byron stood on wove deeply into my being.
On Friday my Uncle Byron passed away. And while he is gone from this earth he lives on in my Aunt Janet, their kids and grandchildren as well as all the lives they impacted together—mine included. There is an aching void for those left on this side of heaven as another beloved family member passes away.