Saturday, June 24, 2006

Bittersweet End

Today was my last day of work in the retirement facility. I have worked there almost five years, since my senior year of high school. Never figured I'd make it a whole year, let alone two or three. I can't begin to tell you all the life lessons I learned, but I know my résumé has the benefit of a job with longevity. If nothing else, I am a loyal individual. This was my first job, and my longest job. The old people were always there, weekend after weekend, and now I'm done.

I have long held the belief that God puts people (me) in situations for a reason. It took me several years to figure it out, but I know now the reasons: God sent me to learn patience and humility. More than any others, these were the lessons I needed to learn toward the end of high school. I still find myself needing more of each every day, but less so now that I've worked in the facility. My family can see the difference, as can some of my long-time friends. I'm a better person having worked there.

Things I won't miss: old people smell! pureed squash. casserole of any kind. fried egg dried onto plates that I then have to scour and wash. lifting the mats in the morning or milk containers above my head. old people, my friends, dying.

Things I will dearly miss: the nice residents. writing on the menu boards in old script handwriting. my coworkers. free food, especially the amazing desserts. hearing stories of youth and young love, hard work, long walks to school barefoot uphill both ways in the snow, and the infinite wisdom of experience.

They didn't throw me a party or anything, just a few short good-byes, and then I was done. I am sad to leave, glad to have had the experience, and hopeful for my next job - that it will teach me as much as I have learned in this one. *tear/smile*

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