Today is the last day at work for someone I’ve worked with for 16 years. He’s leaving this place after being here over 20 years, going to a new opportunity in a new city. It’s exciting and scary for him and I guess for us … and I feel as though I’m bleeding. He has been a wonderful mentor and friend as well as a supportive director, and I am going to miss him terribly. He is the only director I’ve ever known in this job and it’s hard to picture someone else sitting in that office running the show.
I don’t trust people easily, particularly men, but I learned to trust him with time. He was demanding but fair and he knew how to listen, really listen, when it mattered, not just sit and figure out how to respond while someone else was talking. He supported me through personal and professional trials and opportunities, including involvement at the national level, and I owe him a huge debt. I can’t pay it back but I can pay it forward.
Today it’s gray and rainy and generally sad and it’s hard to think about all that lies ahead for us and for him when we get past it. We will all be fine and do things that will bring satisfaction and fulfillment. But today saying goodbye is just really hard.