Vail Daily columnist Linda Stamper Boyne: A taste of change to come
Vail, CO, Colorado
Everywhere I turn, there’s renovation going on.
The Bookworm closed its doors for a few days this week while it moved the bookshelves, pushed back the tables and took down walls to increase its space, a welcomed and exciting change for our local bookstore-coffeehouse-creperie. Oh! And the soup! You must try the soup.
The lovely ladies of Fusion! Hair Studio in Eagle are still coiffuring tresses by day in Eagle Ranch, while by night they are transforming the former Lights on Broadway space into their new studio. The infusion of lattes from Yeti’s Grind next door and the change of location are sure to pump new energy into an already thriving business.
Thanks to the magic of Facebook, I have watched the owners of both these businesses roll up their sleeves, pick up the tools and jump right into the renovations. Covered in drywall dust that colored their hair to an unidentifiable shade of ash blond, they envisioned the transformation and literally made it happen with their own hands.
I admire the ability to see an opportunity for change and just take it on. That’s truly looking at the positive side of change.
I have never been a fan of change. In fact, until recently, I was actually paralyzed by it, lived in fear of it, cursed it when it occurred. I saw it as a negative thing.
But I have slowly realized that the saying, “The only constant is change,” is the path to learning to embrace it. I have taken on a new attitude that change is not just inevitable – it very well may be one of the greatest opportunities we are given. I still don’t necessarily seek it out, but now when it occurs and I can take a moment to look at it objectively, I’m OK with it.
However, the truly unexpected ones can still throw me for a loop. Just recently, life tossed me a situation I wasn’t ready for, but it was a great lesson in the power of a positive attitude and how to handle change with grace. A lesson from my parents, no less. Still teaching me stuff after all these years.
Last month my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. With certainty and no emotional reaction whatsoever, she chose to have a double mastectomy the very next week. My dad was fully on board, completely supporting her decision about treatment even as he was facing some medical issues of his own.
They insisted that there was no need for me to travel to Oregon. They could handle all this on their own. The surgery was “not that big of a deal. We’ll be fine.” I, in turn, insisted that this was a big deal, and yes, I did need to be there – if not for them, then for me.
My mom came through the surgery beautifully, optimism and sense of humor clearly not removed with the breasts. She was the most pleasant, agreeable patient the hospital had ever seen.
When the nurse was changing the bandages the day after surgery, we got our first look at her chest. The two 8-inch, diagonal incisions running from her armpits to her sternum made us both draw in a breath in shock. As I held her hand and tears welled in my eyes, my mom, still looking down at herself, said, “Well, I wish they could have left the nipples.” I started to giggle, marveling at her ability to find something funny in the situation.
An unexpected thing happened on the rainy, gray fall day. I suddenly transitioned into the role of caretaker for my parents. I knew this change was in my future, but I truly thought it was a long time coming.
I listened carefully to the nurse’s instructions, took notes and asked questions when the doctor came in. I talked to my dad about what was going on with him and encouraged him to give his doctor a call with some more questions. I did what I could to help them at home: I cooked, I cleaned, I helped my dad a little in the yard, I did the heavy lifting.
Thankfully, they are by no means incapable of taking care of themselves. They are fully able to manage their own lives, living them to the fullest between doctor’s appointments.
And they were right. They didn’t need me to be there, but I think we’re all glad I was. This was just a warm-up lap, a little heads-up that that far away future is closer than I want to admit. Change is on the horizon.
Linda Stamper Boyne, of Edwards, can be contacted through email@example.com.
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