G's last day at work.
We've been working together for fifteen years. That's the longest I've ever worked with anyone.
I can't think about it for long or I start to tear up.
But it was a great day, especially for G. Lots of people stopped by to say goodbye and wish her well - patrons and fellow town employees, many who have become friends. I loved watching G smile all day. She has the best smile. And it got bigger and bigger as the day went on.
And while I loved watching her enjoy her last day of work, I couldn't help but feel a little melancholy. G has been so much more than a co-worker to me. She's been a surrogate mom at times and definitely an older sister for most of the time.
She's been a sounding board as I've raised my children and a voice of experience through those years. She's been my cohort, planning lots of social events through the years - dinner and movie nights for our staff, Christmas parties, trips to see our favorite author, and theatrical productions in the city. She's been the person I went to when I had a puzzle that needed to be noodled about or an issue that just wasn't sitting right.
She's been THE GIRL.
I didn't really get a chance to say goodbye to her. It was busy at the main desk and she walked through and whispered a quick "See you next week!" as she left. We still have a retirement dinner left.
It was probably better that way. I would have fallen apart.
But I couldn't stop myself from going to the back door and giving her a little wave as she drove off for the last time.
My favorite photo of G. I love her smile and I love her husband in the background, watching her and smiling.
I can feel the love between these two in the picture. And the pride. That man is definitely so proud of his wife.
Thank you, G.
Thank you for the years of advice and commiseration. Thank you for the years of laughter and tears. Thank you for the years of help and guidance, diligence and hard work. Thank you for the years of listening and the years of sharing your thoughts. Thank you for being so. darn. solid.
But most of all, thank you for being my friend. Because you are one of my dearest.
And I know that won't ever change.
Love you. Mean it.