Saturday, May 21, 2011
I think it finally hit me today.
I'm real big into self help and spiritual growth. I believe we have an obligation to the people you've loved in your life. It's nice to help the stranger- good Samaritans are right up there on my list, and I love to give. But we are fortunate enough to meet a few people in our lives that really make an impact. I believe the need to stay connected and be there for special friends, those you think of as more of a friend, more of a circle of soul "mates." I have been blessed (truly blessed) to reconnect (what would we do without facebook, guys?) and I want you to know that you played such an important role in my life for that period of our life, you helped make me be the person I am today. Never did anyone have more fun in life than I have. I want you to know I have more fun in my life than should possibly be legal for anyone. Those that have stayed close over the past what, 15, 20, even 42 years (Hi, Melany! See you soon) know the truth in that. Some (Bob, pay attention) of you best keep your mouth shut, too. I'm married with children now.
I take life straight on and go with the flow. It's how I have lived. In order to do that, I am always reading and researching meditation, yoga, etc. There is nothing like being able to find a balance and understand the difference between good stress and bad stress (distress). Since it is the way I live my life, I have been able to be pretty matter of fact about finding out Bill has early onset of the big A and taking action. Bill and I agreed we would make the best of this, like we have everything else we've faced.
We've lived life full furry. Living here has been the icing on the cake. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would experience Northern Lights, moose, having to stop on a major highway to wait for bears to cross the road, etc. Just on the way home from Marquette the other night in the fog we passed hundreds of deer (eye to eye a couple of times. I prefer seeing that brown tail with the big white stripe running from me. I stopped Monday to wait for the largest wolf I have ever seen (I swear, straight out of Twilight, lol). Thursday night, we stopped to watch three baby red tailed foxes playing on the edge of the road. I spent two summers ago in my back yard watching Golden Eagle mates teach a nest full of youngsters how to fly. Now that was cool. I am going to miss this land. I understand why so many of the famous and wealthy have their hide aways on our islands. Holy cow. It's like walking into a different time.
And my friends. My co-workers. Those that are both. I have not bonded with people like I have here in years. I forgot what I was missing. My staff, thank you for being a part of my team. We had a tough five years. We put our hearts into the kids. We helped some of them (way to many in fact) live their lives to the fullest, up to the last minutes of their lives. We'll miss our babies: Amy, Chris, and Thomas. No teaching team could have dealt with helping the kids and their families through to the end, but we did, and we know without a doubt they had quality of life. Every baby that dies should have people holding them singing their favorite songs, smiling, and laughing. We did it and we coped and we helped those students remaining learn that life is awesome. We lost our dear friends, Dan (Dan oh Dan oh Dan. I hope you heard us sing happy birthday to you. I promised the kids you would hear) and Ruth. I smile every time RJ calls Dan in heaven to narc Barb and I out for making him to his academics. Unforgettable. And brother Dave, like you always tell me, give it to the universe. Sorry about the loss of all that professional development, but we had fun anyway. Oh, and I hope Joe's Bar doesn't go under after I leave. They'll miss us. We did our best planning for school there, dude. Well, second best to working on the beach, but Joe's wasn't bad.
And the Sistas. Girls, what a motley crew we are: an ex-exotic dancer, my favorite tatted drugs and alcohol rehab counselor, Barbie doll working her way up the school ladder, a teacher, a transition/voc rehab specialist, and the craziest neurologist I have every met. We were brought together by Tom and Mags. You turned out to be quite the surprise. Charlene, thanks for teaching me that Redbull and topshelf vodka really does have wings, and thanks for making sure I didn't stroke out on my 50th. wink. I will never be able to replace your friendships. You are unique and wonderful, and I felt like I was at home and could be myself every time we decided to let our hair down. Remember: I have pictures. Ba ha ha ha ha ha.
Anyway, all the self help in the world is up to quite the challenge in keeping my eyes dry when I say goodbye. Thanks for caring as much as I care. We did good.
picture by Dave O'Hanlon
And now to all my friends from home. We are on our way. Plan for one of my lawn parties. I think Al already has the keg bought. Harvey, watch him and don't let him pop the seal until I arrive. He has the keys so make yourself at home everybody. Bob, I am keeping your plans for our retirement as a serious temptation. I do worry about your choice of area due to the movies I've watched about Cape Cod. That was just Hollywood, right?