That’s how Bob Dylan put it and it is as good as anything I can come up with to describe the way life has been in the last few months. It has been a time of loss, gain and reinvention for Bonnie and me.
After we moved back to West Virginia in April 2014 until August 2017, things were sometimes felt a little awkward. We were trying to figure out our roles and be as helpful as possible while still allowing Bonnie’s parents as much independence as we thought they needed. She helped at the card shop every afternoon and I did as much handyman work as I could to keep their house and farm livable. Sometimes it felt like we were walking on eggshells though some of that may have been us just over thinking things.
August 18th 2017, things changed forever when Bonnie’s Mom passed away. I talked about this in my last blog “Life Gets in the Way”. Turns out, we weren’t nearly as ready for her passing as we thought we were. No one is ever ready regardless of how much preparation is done.
Bonnie and her Dad considered selling the shop but made the decision to keep it going at least for a while after talking it over. They also considered the longtime customers who really became great friends some of whom said they would be lost without the shop but probably wouldn’t come back if it were not in the family. Some of them waited a while and others had to work up the nerve to open the door but I think most of the regulars are still regulars. I’m glad we didn’t run anyone off.
The shop has become a new focus which has changed everything about how we go about things. Most of the changes have been very good in that Bonnie and I are using skills we used in our past jobs as well as things we are both passionate about which gives us a sense of purpose again.
Bonnie has applied the financial skill she learned during several years in banking not to mention keeping our checkbook balanced through 42 years of marriage. She has also been able to put into practice her organizational talent. She has had lots of comments about how nice the shop looks.
I have been able to apply the computer skills I learned on the bleeding edge when Blackberries were the only smart phone maintaining the shop’s Facebook page. You can check it out here. I worked on getting everything correct on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yelp so people can find us, get directions or call us. I have also used my writing skills for newspaper articles and communication with vendors.
The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said “Change is the only constant in life.” While the events of the past few months have very much proven his observation to be true and change is sometimes difficult for a tbi survivor to process, I welcome the new challenges and stand ready for whatever changes lie ahead.