As I work on a little project tonight, I find myself having very contradictory feelings about this week. For a few reasons, this is a week I have needed for a while. This is the first semi-laid back week we have had at work in a long while, and with Good Friday coming up, it is a short week as well. I feel like I am breathing this week at work for the first time in a few months.
Yet I am also dreading Thursday. You see, just shy of a year ago, I took over as lead teacher in the classroom that is now mine. I did so with much trepidation, anxiety, and stress, but I felt it was a move I needed to make for many reasons. And in my moment of transition and fear, I met someone who has become so much more than a coworker to me. The beautiful soul that would share a room with me and 18 children for 8 hours a day, day after day for a year would indeed become a near and dear friend.
Yes, Theresa has been my other half for a year. If I was having a bad day, I would count on her to sense as much and pick up my slack. If I needed to be away from the classroom for any reason, whether it be for an hour, a day, or a week, I could trust my kids were in capable hands who loved them and cared about their education and well being as much as I do. If I needed to talk, to vent, or just to share what was going on in my life, I knew I would have a pair of ears ready to listen, never judge. From the moment she hugged me when she found out I would be her new “roommate,” I knew this was someone special and I was lucky to know her. I just didn’t know how lucky.
Theresa is moving to Nashville this week, and these are my final days with her in the classroom. I trust our friendship will continue, and she will always be special to me, always, yet I am already dreading walking in the classroom and knowing I won’t see her smiling face. I am already missing our chats, her smirks as I make a sarcastic comment, our knowing smiles as we share an unspoken, inside joke about something no one else quite understands. I will miss spending 8 hours a day with one of the sweetest, most kind-hearted, fairest, greatest women I have ever known. I will miss spending my days with my friend, the one who made anything and everything bearable, the one who has always helped me find the laughter in any situation. The one who reminds me daily that “whining gets you nothing” and “it’s either laugh or cry.”
Theresa, just remember when I cry on Thursday, it is because I will always cherish the laughter you brought into my life. Thank you for all you have done for me and for our classroom. Thank you for being more than just a coworker. Thank you for being, well, for being you. I couldn’t have asked for anything more, and the shoes you have left will be impossible to fill.
So yes, folks, this will be a bittersweet week. I was looking forward to today, and it was a fabulous day, but I am not looking forward to the days ticking by too quickly as the day I will have to say goodbye nears. So bear with me. I will try to keep it in check on Thursday, but I am afraid the dam is already starting to burst.