People have been asking me what I will miss when I leave Philadelphia. I do not have to think long to know the answer: I will miss the people in my life more than anything.
I am blessed to know many caring people—friends, acquaintances, co-workers, Literacy Council volunteers, Rotarians, neighbors, church people, and so on. My life is so rich because of them.
If I were to map my relationships in concentric circles, at the core would be a small number of my closest friends, those wonderful people who know, accept and love me. They have seen me through the ups and downs of my time here, through difficulties in jobs and relationships. They have supported me with long talks over meals/beer/wine and celebrated birthdays and holidays with me. They have prayed with and for me. I have often said that if there were an Olympic event for friends, I would win the gold medal, hands down. I will definitely miss them.
I will miss monthly lunches with Dorothy, going to the Arden Theater with Jane, and Saturday morning walks with Donna, Butch, Peggy and Mary Claire. I already miss the Swarthmore Rotarians and the people I worked with at the Literacy Council.
Tony and his waiters at the Portobello Cafe who greet me with hugs, Kathy at the Finely a Knitting Party, Trish at Swarthmore Pizza, Jimmy at the Post Office—I will miss them all.
I will also miss the random meetings that happen here—like when I flew into Philadelphia International Airport the other day and saw Gina from Cabrini, who had also just landed and was also waiting for a shuttle. Or unexpectedly sitting two rows behind Marty and Linda at the Arden Theater or going into 320 Market and seeing at least one person I know. I will miss walking into St. John’s Church and seeing so many familiar faces.
During my time here, I have had several public roles, and people often recognize me. It is not uncommon to have someone say a very friendly “hi,” to which I respond, “I’m sorry, I don’t…” only to have the person exclaim, “Oh, I know you because you are a Eucharistic Minister” (or a lector or from the Literacy Council or because my picture was in the paper). I have become very visible living here, and I will miss that.
My life here is so rich because of the people who have allowed me to be part of their lives. I am truly blessed.