Saying goodbye is always difficult. When people are involved on a daily basis in sharing the emotions and issues of individuals with mental health and substance abuse problems, strong bonds are made. The task of leaving feels even more dramatic than usual.
This week at Perry Wellness Center, Ginny Smith, a three-year associate, said goodbye. She was recognized by peers and staff for her contributions to the center. To celebrate her time with us, a large cake was served and personal stories shared.
“I realize that it is important for younger adults to seek betterment and happiness in their lives,” PWC founder Stuart Perry noted. “I have enjoyed Ginny’s time with us, and we wish her Godspeed in her future. We will miss her.”
During the festivities, many peers spoke personally of their relationship with Ginny, including their many positive experiences with the young staffer. Their proudly shared comments eased the underlying sadness of the event.
Although Ginny knew it was time to move on for her professional development, she is keeping her future plans to herself until they come to fruition. Staff bets range from additional training in school counseling to a new job in the mental health or wellness field. Whatever her plans, we know that Ginny will do well and bring her competence and caring to future employment.
“I will miss you all,” Ginny said. “You all have made this part of my life quite enjoyable. I have learned to deal with different issues by being accepted as your friend.” She finished her words of thanks with a promise: “I will be back to see you. Bless you all.”
A grateful Stuart Perry had the last word. “Whatever you do, we wish you well,” he said. “Now cut the cake!”
Best wishes, Ginny.
In the photo above, Ginny Smith is surrounded by friends and colleagues Noah Cochran and Stuart, Amanda and Pam Perry, at a table filled with gifts and a celebratory cake.