A fucking class act

No Swatch Sunday today, although I’d meant to do one. And we did have Soup Thursday this past Thursday, and I’m late on posting that. And if you’ve noticed my lack of presence on the interwebs (both posting here, or actually posting words instead of just pictures, and commenting on *your* blogs), well, here’s why: my boss died.

I’m having a harder time processing it than I expected, really. I knew I’d be sad, but I just hadn’t realized how hard it would hit. She was my direct supervisor for eight years, and an incredible woman. She believed in me, and made me feel valued, and listened to me when I had problems or concerns, and worked to resolve them. And she didn’t just do this for me, but for everyone. She liked to find common ground, like when parts of a committee we were on were at odds. She looked for the best in people, and she put their concerns and needs before her own frequently. She was always polite, always peaceful, very creative, and very graceful, in the “full of grace” sense. I learned at her memorial today that she was a devout Christian, which I never knew because she was private, and respectful of others’ beliefs, and while we talked about spirituality and stuff like meditation and Buddhism, she knew I wasn’t Christian and never pressed me on it. She was the best kind of Christian, in my opinion, the kind that leads by example and lives their beliefs.

And I know she stuck up for me on several occasions, when others would discuss my “appearance” with her: my piercings, tattoos, wild-colored hair. We don’t really have a dress code, and I don’t work closely with the public, and she basically told people to keep their problems with my appearance to themselves, because I did great work, didn’t dress inappropriately, and she appreciated my creativity and self-expression. That meant so much to me, to be supported that way, and I don’t know that I ever told her how much that meant to me. My therapist told me once that I dress like an extrovert, even though I’m an extreme introvert, and it’s the truth, I do. And I try to steel myself, convince myself that I don’t care what others think of how I look, but the truth is, sometimes I do care. And Betty sticking up for me…it was just…I can’t even explain. And I fucked up sometimes, I mean we all do, but I did, and Betty was always forgiving, always understanding that we’re all human and have shortcomings. She really just looked for the best in people, and focused on that.

The other part of it, and this might veer into unprofessional territory, or inappropriate transference, but it is what it is: in many ways, Betty reminded me of the good aspects of my mother. As you probably know, or have guessed, my family is pretty dysfunctional, to put it lightly, and I haven’t spoken to them in years. And it’s better that way, for me, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. To an extent, Betty was kind of a mother-figure. In a less possibly-inappropriate-transference way, I would definitely say that Betty was a role model for me, absolutely. I admired her, and I looked up to her as a pretty shining example of graceful, vibrant, wise older-womanhood.

But she was a private person, and a caretaker, and put others’ needs before her own, and I think she also wanted at least one part of her life where things were “still normal” after the cancer, and so she put a brave face on it at work, and we all thought she was doing much better than she was. We had no idea how dire it really was, and so it came as a complete shock Wednesday, when we learned she’d been on life support for a week and a half, and was being taken off that evening. She passed away surrounded by her family, her pastor, some friends, and it was what she wanted. The rest of the week, I just think I avoided thinking about it, and shut it out. I’m “good” at compartmentalizing and not dealing with shit. This afternoon, we went to a celebration of her life/memorial at her church, and it was beautiful, but deeply sad at the same time.

Betty was a fucking class act. I’m grateful that I got to know her and work so closely with her for eight years, and learn from her. But it’s also a deep loss, and feels really fresh still, so I don’t know when my posting will get back up to snuff.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “A fucking class act

  1. Aw, so sorry about your loss. Betty sounds like she was one in a million. If you feel like talking, despite the time zone difference, just drop me a line xx

  2. *huuuuuuuuuuuuuug*

    I agree with the above – this is a beautiful post. No doubt, Betty felt the same way about you. I’m sure nobody minds you taking some time for yourself – take all the time you need. 🙂

  3. I am sorry to hear of your loss. What a blessing to have such a wonderful person in your life – I am sure she taught you many lessons you will take forward with you in life and pass on to others.

  4. I’m sorry Kathy, that really sucks. Reading this made me think about how I’d feel if I lost my general manager from Arby’s, and I’d be so sad. She’s like a mom to me. I have even accidentally called her mom before. Betty sounds like a really awesome person.

  5. Thanks so much, y’all! I really appreciate the sweet sentiments. Betty was awesome, and I’m blessed to have known her. And I’m feeling better – I think going to the memorial/celebration of her life helped alot.

  6. Pingback: Got a much needed kick in the ass from the universe today « Woo-Woo & Witchy-poo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s