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That’s the little sign on the corner of my computer monitor.  The little sign at the top of the computer monitor says “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware.”  Both are pretty apt for me these days.

I am getting ready to leave my job – well, more accurately, my job is leaving me – on Friday.  I’ve been coming here off and on for almost nine years to the day.  That’s a long time.  It will be strange not to drive up, walk through the doors, settle at my desk.  Fortunately, at least in my head, the company is moving everyone into our “back-up” building, into a completely different environment/layout/set-up, so I comfort myself by thinking that it would be very different anyway.  Had I stayed, I might have switched to full-time work-at-home – which I’m going to do anyway with my own business.

But what I will really miss (aside from the steady paycheck) is the support system.  I’ve known the women I work with for a long time:

Kathy: 9 years – she heard my sorrow over losing my Mom daily; I’ve helped her through dating, marriage and two kids, and we’ve been each other’s moral support through some hellacious work schedules for the past 7 months
Kathy: 9 years – she was first my boss, and then she became my friend; she helped me move out when I left Pat
Denise: 5 years – very much like a sister to me
Kris: 20 years – we’ve been together at two companies and through the deaths of my parents and her dad
Debbie: 4 years – we compare notes about our kids
Colleen: 4 years – we’re talking about painting houses together in the summer
Christine: 5 year – we’ve always wanted to go out together, but we agree that might be dangerous – a big support for me during times of transition

With all of these women, I have shared tears, laughter, dreams, and rants.  At times, they were the only positive thing about coming to work.  While I know that I don’t need to let the relationships go, I’ve never been good at maintaining relationships, and the dynamic changes once you’re “out” when they’re still “in.”  I want to change my old pattern of letting people go, and try to keep these women in my life.

I know that some of them are closely following my plan for working independently, and wishing they could pursue their own dreams.  They’re watching to see how I do.  After all, if I can do it, they can do it.

So I owe it to them, as well as to myself, to be fearless.

About two weeks ago, one of Kelsea’s friends had a brain aneurysm.  A beautiful, healthy 12-year old girl.  Kelsea had just been at a sleepover birthday party with her two nights before. 

Kelsea and her other friends were broken-hearted, worried, sleepless, tearful.  The counselors at her school have been exceptional, pulling in Kelsea and her other friend who were closest pals with S to talk with them individually, instead of with the rest of the 6th grade.  And they’ve asked her to come back several times to check on her.  Kelsea’s been taking it well, talking with me, with her friends.  One of the hardest parts has been not knowing.  S’s family has been very quiet, not divulging much of S’s status until there was something more definite to divulge.

On Friday, there was word that S was awake, out of her post-surgery drug-induced coma, and wanting to see her friends. That was wonderful news.  So today, Kelsea and I and one of her friends and her friend’s mom drove down to see S.  It was hard, wonderful, poigniant.  She is still on some pretty serious medication – I don’t know what.  The scar on her skull, partly hidden by her hair, is harsh.  One eye is drooping.  She is  barely able to walk and is exhausted.  But she loved seeing Kelsea.  It was a little awkward, Kelsea not quite knowing what to say, so I gently encouraged her to hold S’s hand, give her a hug, tell her about the choir concert.  Once S realized Kelsea was there, she kept saying her name, asking to be next to her, reaching for her hand, almost to the exclusion of their other friend.  And when S reached over and said to Kelsea, “You are like my sister,” I think we all got teary.  S was asking about all her friends, about school, telling the girls that she was having to learn to walk like a little baby. Her cognitive functions seem to be very, very good for all she’s been through.

S’s dad, two grandmothers, and small sister were there, with her dad being positive, helpful, brave and treating S just as he always has, which is just as it should be, and just as I guided Kelsea to do.  I couldn’t ask him anything, as I didn’t want to put him on the spot, perhaps being unable to say something in front of S.

Kelsea wants to go back every day, and I’ve promised we’ll go next week.  I can’t help but feel for her family.  I won’t even imagine going through that experience with Kelsea, and I’ll say a small prayer to the gods to protect her, and ask that this challenge never be to proposed to her – or to me.

But it is strengthening to watch injuries, whether they be of the brain, the body or the heart, heal.  Faith plays a big role.  The future can be bright regardless of the circumstances of the moment, if you just keep your hopes high and your faith in the universe strong.

January 2019
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