Today is the last day that my mother-in-law will officially be a guidance counselor. She'll always be one, of course; it's too ingrained in her whole personality for her to ever not be a counselor at some level. But today, around 3 or so Eastern Time, after thirty-five years of counseling and teaching, and counseling, she will walk out of a school building and be free.
She's ready. For the entire year, she's had a countdown. Beginning with the shiny red Mustang she bought last July to kick off the year, this year has been all about endings and looking forward to new beginnings. She has plans on the horizon--a wonderful way to end one journey, with the next road up ahead. And, it's been a trying year, with food fights in the cafeteria, with administrators that took her for granted, with the countdown ticking away slowly, slowly.
But the countdown is over.
She has her mix CD we made her for the last week. She has her shiny red car to carry her away at the end of the day. And because she was ready to retire, finally and truly finished with this part of her journey, she has nothing but possibility to look forward to.
So good luck. And be sure to do a victory lap around the parking lot--windows down, stereo thumping. Heck, go over to the middle school and do a lap or two there as well.
On to the next road.