I’m an only child. My relationship with most of my extended family is limited at best. All my life I’ve considered the friends who are closest to me my family. And today, I had to say goodbye to a part of my family.
I went to work at the Bingo Hall when I was 19. I was out of high school with no plans to continue my education. It was only at the urging of my frustrated mother that I actually got a job. It may have been one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made.
They welcomed me almost immediately. I fell into their little group and soon it was hard to imagine a time when I wasn’t part of that team. It’s hard to think of days when laughter wasn’t heard. I honestly don’t think they exist.
Of course that original group didn’t last forever. Others moved on, I myself even left for a short period, having gained the ambition to try my hand at college. But when money ran out and I was forced back home, I was once again welcomed back.
The faces had changed, but the family was still in tact. I learned to appreciate new people. I learned things, not only lessons, but things about myself. These people would come to me and share me their thoughts and feelings their fears and personal victories. I in turn would do the same when my turn came.
As the inside jokes grew with the days, my love for these people grew as well. It’s strange to think that so much of what makes me who I am today had seeds in that building. I’m simply grateful that I had a group of gardeners to help me grow along the way. But times changed, and I realized that as much as I loved these people, it was time for me to go.
As for the people who I served. I thank you all for the kind words that many of you have given me over the years. I appreciate the way that you’d share your stories with me, five minutes at a time. I haven’t forgotten them.
I met some amazing people there. I even fell in love in that bingo hall. And while it may be awhile before I return. There will never be a time when that Bingo Hall isn’t with me.
Thank you and I love you.