Christmas is a time of joy, a time to spend with the family. The message of hope for a better future permeates everything and for a moment, we feel seized by a feeling of magical reality. We become little children and we come to believe that everything is possible. And with the end of the year we look back and we set those unattainable goals that we promise to fulfill.
A bit over a year ago, my family and I decided to make a big change in our lives. Together with my wife I had decided to leave “the job and the company of my life” and look for a new professional challenge. Leaving the cooperative was not going to be easy. I left friends, colleagues and farmers, partners in the company who had trusted me so much. How to exit and not frustrate them? How to avoid leaving behind any betrayal feeling?
Being the former difficult, the most difficult thing was finding the words and the time to explain it to my Father. How to explain that I was abandoning the great project of his life? How could I tell him I was leaving the company he had presided over for so many years?
I shall just clarify that the explanations to my father needed to be much more extensive and not because he asked me to do so. The silence right after I gave him the news prompted me to do it. I was rather questioned by his considerate words than objections: “Go ahead, take your own decisions and do not worry, your family is with you”.
In fact, my family supported me shortly after the initial surprise and the many rational questions. “You are respected, you are well treated and you are emotionally and personally linked to the cooperative. Are you sure you want to leave?”
My wife, who is much stronger and braver than me, backed me without reservations, although there was a limitation: “the girls and I do not leave Spain with the only exception of the possibility of returning to New York”. Taking this into account, we start the search. Murcia, Valencia, Almeria and even Huelva were possible alternatives.
But any great change carries consequences. When it was already clear that we were going to settle in Malaga, it was time for the family meeting. The time has come to tell it to the girls. We were in the car on our way to Granada and we told them so.
– Rebecca and Monica, we have something to tell you.
– Yeeeeeeees- they said with expectation not knowing what was coming.
– You already know that I have a new job and I haven’t been much at home lately. If you we want see each other a bit more, we need to move to another city. We have to move to Malaga.
– But, but … why? And how about the school? And how about my friends? – They answered almost in unison.
I did not know that their weeping and sobbing could hurt me so much. To leave their friends, to leave the world they know and leave everything they liked in their city to go to another unknown place. Their disconsolate weeping, their questions and their need to reason…
– But Daddy, why do we have to leave? Why did you quit your last job? Weren’t you happy? Because we were very happy.
What is the right answer to that?
I couldn’t find any answer that reconciles my adult world with theirs. Time is passing and they have adapted perfectly to their new school, they have new friends although they miss those they left in Granada and we… we hope we have done the right thing.
Professionally, I never thought I would be involved in such a large and meaningful project and personally, we have the strength and health to continue searching for our place in the world with honesty and commitment.
I wish you all the best. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
P.S: Regarding this past year we also need to remember what was lost… together with the loss of relatives and the painful absence of some family members, this year, we have lost a good friend (Rafa Bueno) May he enjoy the glory of God and his family finds comfort. And we have also lost Manuel Salguero foundering partner of Cooperative La Palma and above all a good man. Rest in peace. We do not forget them.