Thursday, June 17, 2010

Linda's Retirement Party

Linda stirs beside me in the bed and takes a peek at the clock. I snuggle up behind her and put my arms around her.

"It's the big day," I whisper.

"So it is," she agrees sleepily.

Today the staff at her school, where Linda has worked for 25 years, are celebrating her career. Former Principals will be there, family, former students, Board trustees and many, many others will be out to wish her well.

Linda has been instrumental in Berner Trail Public School winning the gold standard as an eco school, has lead the school choir for a generation (and even sang the anthems at a Blue Jays game). As a teacher and an artist and an environmentalist, Linda has left her mark on her profession and her school.

But, for the moment, Linda isn't anxious for the day to begin. It is comfortable just resting here in the early morning light.

Her brother Steve and I will take a taxi to the Party, since, between numbed feet, drugs and constricted lungs, I no longer trust myself to drive.

Linda was up late last night putting the finishing touches to a scrapbook she has been compiling of her career. Letters of commendation from the Board, photos of folk dancing groups she's led, the safety patrol she managed, the wilderness trips she supervised, photos of former teachers and friends.

So many memories.

But now Lindsay comes wiggle wagging her way into the room with a "come on guys its after getting up time and I need to go out" look on her face.

And Linda stirs, throws back the covers and her day begins.