Canada Garden: 08/15

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Retirement. . . Who, Me?

It's hard to believe I've been a social worker at our  state hospital for the last 25 years.   My co-workers threw a BiG potluck and said so many nice things to me.  In my wildest dreams, I never could have imagined having such a good job,  such good people to work alongside in such meaningful work. 

 Jefferson Hall had a beautiful custom sculpture made for me--I absolutely love it.  The inscription, "You made a difference" tells me they were listening to my mantra all these years--that our work is important both to our patients and to our fellow staff, that what we do matters.  Yes, it is  difficult and frustrating but it still matters and sometimes, when you least expect it, you get these glorious glimpses of the magic that is really happening while you are leading groups, writing social assessments and making call after call for discharge plans.   Thank you Sara, Janelle, Cary, Kim, and Kamaria. 
 Tami sent me a beautiful edible bouquet from Flowers by Mary Lou.  One of the lasting gifts I gained from my years  at the hospital has been Tami.  She was a social worker on Jefferson when I started work on Douglas all those years ago.  We became friends, we went to Chicago for DBT training together, to Alton for family training, I got to wear a pretty purple dress (it really was pretty!) in her wedding, we went into private practice together, she's been my confidant and cheerleader and she always makes me laugh. 
  Amy and Val gave me a sweet plaque validating all the ups and downs of being a social worker. . . and movie money!   Thank you both--and yes, our hospital needs rebels  and I do love you :)

Sweet e-mails like this one: 
The day is almost here – I am so excited for you. It has been great working with you over the years. All I can say is Enjoy, enjoy, take the time to enjoy each day…
Sweet cards. . . I have been so blessed to have been with the people I have worked with over the last 25 years.  
 Cards  from the patients were especially touching.  Their bravery is amazing.  I got into this field to help other people, but they've helped me so much more. 

I know I've left out so many people  here.  As I'm going through this my advice to you:  make sure you take lots of pictures and make sure you put them somewhere all together where you will know where they are when the time comes.  Do this, otherwise you won't have a picture to go with your thank you to Natalie, Fran, Karen, Greg, Kash, Rachel, Sarah, Don, Carol, Jo-An . . . well, you get the idea. . .
There's Greg. . .
And there's Natalie. . . But wait, where's Fran?!?

To everyone who stopped by to say goodbye, who gave money for that whopping gift certificate (this will be the nicest purse I've ever owned!), who brought food, who sent cards and e-mails, and to those of you I missed because you were busy taking care of our patients--thank you from the bottom of my heart.  

And to Mark, who is always militantly on my side, who got me this job in the first place, who was with me every step of the way, I love you most.