This evening marked the beginning of an end, and a look forward to a new beginning. Back in 1994 I found a place that made me feel peaceful. It is a place that wasn't far, but felt far out and even a little fairytale. I began to frequent it for the solace I sought and found friendship and a family of like-minds.
Twenty plus years later I still frequent the place and find my peace.
The person there who has been the cornerstone of a culture of acceptance, tolerance and kindness is going to retire. This evening was the last holiday party to be coordinated and hosted by her. Because of who she is at her core, she would not take such credit as is due her, but it is blaringly clear that through her efforts to show compassion and understanding to all people, regardless of their baggage, and to assume the best of each, there is now a covey of employees who try to uphold the same standard of approach for the public they serve.
Things will change there, but I believe her influence will remain a driving force in our dealings with people as well as in how we plan events. I know that she has tilted my perspective enough to make me think of how better I can serve others.
I will miss the working days together. But I will revel in her joy as she engages further into life outside of work.