Tomorrow is my last day at the Pittsfield Public Library. I get a bellyache when I think about it. Am I excited for my new job at the Bangor Public Library? Yes. Absolutely. It’s like a career change! A larger library, new colleagues, new patrons, new policies and procedures and problems. It’s a new adventure for sure.

Will I miss my old job? Of course. My colleagues, my patrons, my friends, and honestly, being a big fish in a little pond can be fun. But I won’t miss the politics, the building maintenance, and a few other things and people that I won’t mention.

Two days ago, as I drove to work, I started to think about my brother. He had been a patron at Pittsfield–I have many memories of him there. As I got closer to the library, I started to cry. So much so that I couldn’t breathe. You know the kind of sobbing where you can’t catch your breath and you start to gulp for air? Yeah. That.

I feel like I’m losing Phil all over again. I’m losing another place that holds memories of him laughing and pointing out books he’s read or listened to or films he’s watched. I’m losing a place where he existed.

Once I got to work, though, I was able to calm down and just do my thing. The Friends of the Library threw me a farewell party, so I cried often throughout the day as people stopped by to wish me well.

You know…I feel a little lost. Working at a place for 17 1/2 years is a lifetime. I’ve watched so many kids grow up and have kids of their own. I’ve attended funerals of many of my beloved patrons, have given baby shower gifts to others. I will miss so many of these beautiful humans. I’m tremendously sad that I won’t see some of my favorite littles grow up, and this might sound odd, but I’m also upset I won’t see some of my favorite people die. I will no longer be a part of their lives and I’m having a hard time with that.

But, like the sweet notebook these folks gave me says, love is letting go. And it’s time I do that.

I’m trying.

So…if you’re reading this and you’ve been one of my Pittsfield Library patrons, I want to thank you for allowing me to be part of your lives. It’s truly been an honor and gift to be a part of your journey all these years. You’ve also been a part of mine. So many of you have watched my boy grow up, have been with me as I tried to live in a world without my dear brother and parents, have watched me struggle with my husband’s health, but also have watched me become a runner–something I wasn’t when I started at the Pittsfield Library. You’ve watched me lose over 50 pounds and gain nearly 20 since I became director. You’ve also seen a variety of hair lengths and styles and eyeglass frames. Thanks for being with me through so many of my life’s changes and being a witness to this latest one.

Keep reading, my friends, keep being kind, and please keep visiting that great library of yours. Continue to let the powers that be know how much the library and staff mean to you and your community.

And thank you, from the bottom of my heart and soul, for all the love. ❤