Wrapping a tidy looking bow around thirty-one years of wonderful work isn’t easy to do. The memories, keepsakes and lives poured onto paper in notes, drawings and artwork, each given as little gifts have stories to tell and are beautiful to hold. And somewhere between packing and feeling I fumble, between what the heart takes and holds and the boxes still waiting.
I have known for a year that this month was coming. I’ve planned and delivered each timeline, each notice, from family to bosses, from parents to children, from media to hiring. And all went according to plan. Yay me. But when one works in a place that brings comfort and healing to those who are young it’s not okay to look like you’re leaving, to be packed up, to be looking toward elsewhere.
So I nibbled away at the edges, the old yellowed files, the closets, the places unseen and tossed and boxed and remembered all I could carry.
And now being down to the center where lives matter and work lives, I finally heard it yesterday. With her twelve years of wisdom, said, “Oh…this is not good,” while staring at boxes. “You really are leaving, retiring, whatever you call it, aren’t you?”
And the well rehearsed man did a word dance to comfort and re-teach the lesson and both kept on learning. Near the end of our session her mother returned with a card and with hugs.
At the doorway the child looking back at the boxes, said, “Would you like help carrying those out to your car?”