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Last night I attended the retirement dinner celebration for this year's group of retirees. *Yawn* Big dinner parties/dances are not my thing. The chicken dinner was quite yummy and the four piece jazz combo was very good.

Now that the bare bones report is done, I move on to the topic of this entry.

The two highlights of the evening, for which I am most grateful, were as follows:

First was seeing all the old gang, the group of 11 of us who worked together in a huge room--no cubicles, no windows, open floor plan--some 22 years ago. It was wonderful, greeting them with joy and being hugged and smiled at with genuine pleasure. The only ones missing were Batty and Bill Minor. Oh, and Fernando. How could we all have forgotten Fernando?

There was an underlying sadness, the knowledge that they are getting very old, and each meeting may be the last. I, of course, remain a spring chicken, while Batty is verily still in the egg. One member of that team, who is the head honcho now, greeted me very formally (which felt very cold and aloof to me), which was a surprise and a contrast to greetings from everyone else.

We were a very tight group back then, and when we were split up and sent out to field offices it was hard.

The second item for which I am most grateful was that I got to see, probably for the last time, my first supervisor from 30 years ago. She looked good for her 85 years, but as she herself said, she was having trouble remembering things, people, places, dates. That she 'didn't have much left.'

That's very sad because I used to spend my time that I wasn't out in the field in her office, listening to her telephone conversations with clients, how she explained and offered options and empathized with them. When I was promoted to supervisor, I found myself echoing her many times at first, until I found my own voice.

And last night I had a chance to tell her how profoundly grateful I was--I am--to have had the chance to work with her and learn from her, and how much impact she had on my life. It will probably be the last time I ever see her and I am thankful I had the chance to share my gratitude with her.

Gratitude shared is gratitude multiplied manyfold.

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