my last day…is over

Wow.

It’s over.

I spent my entire morning cleaning and re-organizing my the office -from top to bottom…cause I wasn’t having any stranger think I WAS MESSY…or DIRTY.

No, I’m perfect. That’s what they need to think.

After that, rest of my day…was pretty much a wash. The entire Education Department took me out to lunch and presented me with a portable external hard drive.

To save my book on, course.

THEN…Chef Terawaki…

No, I must explain him first…he’s from Chile…and is still trying to learn the proper way to say phrases in English. Today – and this is a direct quote – he told me and my boss, “if it’s raining lemons, just learn to make lemonade” with his thick, Chilean accent. He and I bonded…I’m one of the few that can translate what he’s trying to say with his mix of English and made-up words.

So, Chef Terawaki shows up at lunch with a card and a little motivational plaque…with his own medal he received as a Chef of the school…the medal every single student covets and receives only when they graduate…and glued it to my plaque – because he felt I should have it.

HIS OWN MEDAL.

work  gifts

That about did me in…right there on the spot.

Oh…but wait…THEN I was presented with a CAKE that A STUDENT MADE FOR ME that said “Best Wishes.”

I didn’t even know what to say…which didn’t help matters, because I spent the next few hours after lunch making my rounds, trying to tell everyone goodbye.

And that was no fun at all. It’s funny how you learn the way people truly feel about you…or about the quality of your work…when you leave.

But that knowledge…seeing how much everyone really, truly cared…and believed in me and supported my decision to go and chase my dream…was overwhelming.

The entire day was harder than I ever imagined it would be…I had no idea it would be so emotionally draining.

I left around 2:30 (OK – REMEMBER, I GOT TO WORK AT 5:30am…) and as I was pulling out of the parking lot…FOR THE LAST TIME…I called Tim.

He didn’t answer. And if there was ONE TIME I needed him to pick up the phone, it was today. It was already bad enough that his presence had been requested at an after-work-drinks-session, which would leave me home, BY MYSELF…FOR HOURS.

And that wasn’t looking to be a good idea after my afternoon. That LAST thing I needed was to be alone. It’s a good thing we don’t stock pile any type of hard liquor.

He FINALLY called me back a few minutes later…while I was driving on the highway… the realization that my last day was OVER was ripping through me like a harsh, bitter wind. I had resigned myself to blasting sad, doom-and-gloom songs. It’s what seemed appropriate.

I told Tim to relay to Mr. Throw A Party On The Last Day Your Wife Will Be At Her Current Place Of Employment And Will Need Her Husband that I’d stop by on Monday, seeing as I didn’t have to report to “work,” and personally rip off all of Mr. Schedule A Party On Friday’s fingernails, one by one.

Just so we’d be even.

Tim momentairly talked me off the ledge…but when I got home, I had to go take Maddie for a walk …(ok…FINE. So I let her run around the playground at the elementary school up the street. THAT COUNTS). I needed to convince my brain that yes, my journey really is starting…I really did hand over my keys and I really was no longer a full time employee.

And between those thoughts, I cursed Tim’s dinner engagement.

My “plan” after I got Maddie home was to start writing this…the update on my last day. And I did that. I sat right down and started typing, while everything was still fresh.

The rain had tapered off, which was going to be Tim’s last resort to ditch the dinner party – cause driving in Atlanta is bad…but driving in Atlanta when it’s raining is just stupid. For whatever reason, rain is the signal for everyone to act completely irrational and go FASTER than you would on a DRY ROAD.

So, with no torrential downpour, I knew there was no hope in him ducking out due to inclement weather.

I opened iTunes, found my mellow songs and began the task of unleashing my emotions.

Then…I heard this looong rumble…and I’m all THUNDER!! I’M SAVED! I’M CALLING TIM! WE’VE GOT AN EXCUSE!

Right as I’m grabbing for the phone, Maddie leaps up from her spot next to me and runs toward the door that leads outside to the garage.

I stop and look at her, wondering what she heard or if we’re about to be robbed and I should be running for a weapon or something.

Then Maddie’s tail starts wagging, her eyes glued to the door.

I hear a car door close…and I realize…

That was not thunder.

And it wasn’t an unwelcome intruder.

It was the garage door…opening not by force, but as prompted by the click of a button.

A tiny smile starts to creep up on my emotionally beaten face.

I hear a car door close…and then a few very familiar footsteps.

And who walks in…arms wide open…with a smile, saying, “My wife is more important. And she needed me.”

But the most incredible husband

EVER.

Who subsequently took me out to dinner and spent the entire evening doing a book plot brainstorming session with me.

So, HE is why this post is delayed.

But, I figured you’d understand.

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