Today is going to be a double punch to the gut, I thought as I headed to work.
I’d only written and edited two stories before it was time for goodbye cake number one. After 12 years, Jamie was leaving.
She recounted that she got married while at the station. Then she joked, “I may not have had a child if it weren’t for this place.”
Jamie choke up describing her daughter’s reaction the news that she’d no longer be working at Channel 7.
“She arched her back and said why momma? Why?”
Jamie collected herself then continued, “This is like the Mafia, once you’re in, you can never get out. I’ll never forget where I came from, where my loyalty lies. Like I said, we’re a family.”
I’d barely recovered from Jamie’s speech by the time I returned from lunch. People were already gathering for the second salute. This time it was for Saundra, who was well-known throughout the building.
“This place and these people have been the most stable thing in my life for 30 years, Saundra said.
She pointed out that she met her wife and started her family at the station.
“I’ve thought about all of the people who didn’t get to leave here. I am glad I’m walking out on my own two feet, on my own terms.” She added, “I’m not retiring, I’m reinventing.”
Sandra’s words resonated with me. Recently, I’ve been trying to figure out what my next step will be and how to get there. This was still on mind as I entered Saundra’s goodbye party at the Empire Rooftop after work.
I scanned the faces of co-workers past and present and thought, it’s necessary to say goodbye to some things in your life to move forward. But, you don’t have to leave the people you love behind.
Saundra echoed my thoughts when she began, what she said would be, her last speech in January.
“My mother said I always like everyone. But, that’s not true. I do find something to like about everyone. I have a hard time letting go of the people I care about. So you’ll hear from me again.”
Read days 1-26 here:
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