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I’ve had 3 glasses of wine. Maybe more. And I’m feeling very sentimental…

I felt very loved today. Came into work to Boberry biscuits compliments of Tim. Then this afternoon, Ron instructed me to schedule a last-minute BTF (that’s Build to the Future, for all of you non-corporate-BS people out there). I walked in all apprehensive… BTF’s aren’t historically very pleasant. But this one was just for me. My teammates had put together a slideshow of my time at S-D… a progression of pictures and “inside” jokes and references and music that made me laugh and tear up and roll my eyes in derision. Each teammate – Julie, Drew, Tim, Sarah 1, John S, even Ron – participated. It was one of my most treasured work moments.

I’m going to miss them – truly I am. I haven’t allowed myself to realize the social implications of this leap that I’m taking. I’ve been thinking about the “big picture” – which is good, of course – but I won’t be driving on my little backroads to work anymore, where there are interesting things like ditches of wild pink roses and chain-link fences that make political statements. And I won’t pull into the parking lot any more and walk into Office Space, where I’m Milton, and Julie, Drew, Tim, and even Sarah 1 are always there to make light of the situation, no matter how ridiculous and unfunny it may be. These people were there though my darkest time. They met me BEFORE, when I was polite and quiet and professional and even timid. They knew me through Mama’s rediagnosis, treatments, trips to Duke, and everything in between. They were the ones who filled in the gaps when I had to come in late or leave early for a treatment or dr appt or just because I was too overwrought to function. They were there at the visitation wearing pink ribbons that Sarah 1 made. They were there at the funeral. And they were there when I returned to work, hollow, distant, and all sharp edges. Throughout the following months, I cursed, snarled, and lashed out with little discretion. Sometimes it was funny, other times it was scary (or so they tell me)… And they managed to maintain and see the humor until the meds kicked in.

For example, when someone stole my safety shoes, and I sprinkled our area with f-bombs, they responded by writing a little jingle in the key of “F sharp” (which they actually sang to me):

Or the time that I returned from that infamous trip to Iowa, infuriated at the Yankee-esque comments about my Southern accent….

Julie and Tim were up until 1am this morning on IM working on my little slideshow. I didn’t actually cry today. I welled up, and made jokes and fought back the tears. But then on the way home, I sobbed. I want to leave, I need to leave. But I made friends – people who have seen me at my worst and still like me – and I’m sad to lose them.

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