I witnessed something beautiful yesterday. I have a co-worker that is retiring after 35 years within the school district as a custodian. 35 years is incredible commitment, dedication with any job these days. Retirements are not an end to anything, its a beautiful beginning. We all celebrated him with cake, cookies, games, and sandwiches. Everyone gathered in one room, while wearing masks, and waited for him to arrive. When he arrived, he stood in the middle of the room, pretty shy, while we all clapped and thanked him for his help for many many years. I’m fairly new to the school district with only one year under my belt but he has made such an impression on me within that one year. He has always been very kind to me and I likewise, have been very kind to him. Kindness is everything. Its rare to find these days. Whenever I needed assistance, he would be there. Whenever I told him that I really didn’t need his help, “Oh no it’s totally ok I can do it”, he would insist that he helped me. I said, “helloooo” and “good morning!” everytime I passed him in the hallways. I never sat and had a conversation with him. Perhaps because I was just soo busy in my little bubble.
As I clapped along with my fellow co-workers and expressed gratitude, I realized that former co -workers were there clapping too. I realized that his old boss who now worked for another district was one of them. He came to celebrate his former employee. That’s when it me. I fought back tears and it was obvious that he was too. I think everyone in the room felt it. Our lips trembled underneath our masks…. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. The energy in the room was beautiful. He said, “I will miss you guys” and we all clasped our hands with a cheerful sadness. If that makes any sense at all.
I thought about all that I have been going through and how I’ve been so stuck in my own head. I am glad that I stepped away from my desk to witness this, to celebrate him. There’s sooo much shit going on in this world, in my life, that this moment, really made my heart smile.
I wanted to share this story with you today because you never know how much of an impact you have made in someone’s life. I hope you take a moment to have conversations with people, make new friends and cherish connections. I hope that even if you don’t feel like you are being appreciated, you are and when time, someone would be there ready to celebrate you. I hope you take a moment to thank someone and just be there for them. Sending love and light to you all.