Friday, August 15, 2008

End of an Era

I said good-bye to a friend and co-worker today. Kareen was one of my favorite technicians to work with when I started at my current clinic, back when I had just one baby and she was pregnant with her son. I loved working with her because she was so efficient, one of those assistants who puts the thing you wanted in your hand before you could even ask for it. I also loved her no-nonsense attitude and incredible work drive.

For years we did surgery day together on Thursdays, chatting while working about things like breastfeeding, diapers, and circumcision. They called it "Maternity Thursdays," and our single male co-workers cringed.

Kareen was ambitious and wanted a better life for herself and her son, so she went back to school to become a teacher. She went to school FULL-TIME while also working FULL-TIME and getting promoted to manager. Somehow, she did all this and never stopped spending quality with her son, and took him to numerous enriching activities (T-ball, karate, swim lessons, and personal field trips for the two of them). She also trained for a triathlon. I don't know where she gets her energy.

Truthfully, the last few years I've been working less with Kareen, since her school schedule often made her days off the days I was on, and she's been moved more to special work projects. It kind of helped me wean off of depending on her. Still, I always looked forward to the days she did share my schedule, when we could get a brief catch up.

This fall she starts student teaching. Typically, she planned ahead, saving salary and paying off her car ahead of schedule. I am so excited for her to get to started her dream career, a job where she will be off when her son is, too. I know we'll still see each other, but it will be occasionally, not regularly. Now only one other employee is left from when I first started, almost 6 years ago (right, Dana!?!).

I can't believe how much my life and Kareen's life have changed since we first met. I know she'll be a great teacher (wish my kids could have her), but there is such sadness in my heart.

Maybe now she'll learn to call me by my first name!


get2eric said...

What a great post. Boy, I wish I could write like you do.

Emily said...

Kareen is a great friend. I remember meeting her and Leah as we prepared for the triathlon and being surprised that they called you Dr. M!

I know all too well how difficult it is to say goodbye to friends you work with. The good friends still remain friends. Life is all about change.

ColeBugsmommy said...

Jennifer :-) See look I used your first name! Thanks so much for the wonderful post. It means the world to me. I really missed working one-on-one with you, too! I'm humbled.

Leah said...

This one makes me cry......I know Kareen and I will still hang out wont be the same without seeing her as often as I am use to.