For about three months, my wife and I have been helping out our friend who has the candle and incense store in the space next to where we once used to have the Red Dragonfly Gallery.
Our friend has cancer.
The Web of Life
We started by helping out by minding the store for one or two days a week so she wouldn't have as much to deal with while undergoing daily chemotherapy treatments. Those treatments are exhausting and sap all your energy... and it's hard to get much healing if you're putting yourself under further stress.
Alas, our friend is "fading," increasingly giving rise to the question of whether it is still realistic for her to continue running a retail store, given the current direction of her life.
But how do you have "that conversation" with someone who has poured 18 years of her life into a business that is well known and treasured — even if not very profitable — in the local community?
On February 14th — Valentine's Day — her store has its 18th anniversary.
One solution might be to simply sell the business as an ongoing concern, possibly to one of her long-time customers and supporters.
Of course part of the challenge here becomes the "not very profitable" aspect, which means there isn't exactly going to be a line of eager buyers, were the business going to be put up for sale.
Then there is the psychological aspect: Having to look at closing a beloved business potentially would mark an "end" in a way not that dissimilar from the end of an actual life. If the store were not there as a beacon of hope of returning to something "normal" would it just act as a trigger to a further spiral of decline?
Often life gives us neither good nor "right" choices... and definitely not easy ones!
Thanks for reading!