But I need to do a little sharing.
A couple of weeks ago I said goodbye. For the second time in my career, I didn’t actually retire.
I tried to avoid thinking about what it would feel like. I avoided talking about it. I avoided writing about it here.
I hoped no one would fuss.
But they did. In a sweet and elegant way that made the break up even more bittersweet. I’ve been a little tearful ever since.
My dear Springfield Township friends turned the stage of the auditorium into a café–round tables with linen tablecloths, soft lighting, my favorite music, paintings, home cooked food. They bought me extravagant gifts. They created a memory book and a two-disk mix of my favorite songs. And they wrote and performed a rockin’ version of Wiki Woman (see 18:19 in the video). They said nice things.
The kids also threw me a few little celebrations and presented me with another book of memories.
You know what? I am a good librarian. I am proud of the things I know and the things I can do. But the memories my friends–both young and older–shared were not really about that stuff or the professional way I hoped I performed over the 15 years I spend at STHS.
When they said goodbye, it was all about our relationships, smiles, and the way our library felt.
It was about being available, student and teacher rescues, and always saying yes.
I felt truly blessed hearing that I made a difference in lives I didn’t realize I touched.
I felt like Mary Tyler Moore first saying goodbye in that tearful group hug and then closing the WJM newsroom door back in 1977.
Ever since I closed that door I’ve been asking myself such goofy questions as:
- Moving forward, when I talk about myself, can I still call myself a librarian?
- What will it feel like not to have those kiddos around me?
- How do other (not actually) retired librarians answer these questions?