I wrote this to inform this group that I will be taking “a leave of absence” or sabbatical from us for a while. The reasons are varied and numerous. Each taken alone would not force me to do this, but combined I feel compelled to do so.
Before I go into those reasons I wish to tell you what it has meant to me to be part of this glorious group. You all have become close, dear and cherished friends of mine. You have allowed, and more encouraged, me to explore a side of myself that I didn’t know existed. You helped me overcome my fear of public speaking. In my writings for this group, I’ve recognized and been able to speak about my fears, dreams, and recollections of my childhood, and musings of more recent experiences. You quietly let rant about how I’ve felt cheated and led blindly into depression with life, and rant about TV commercials and unsolicited phone calls, and share long and somewhat boring history lesson on the presidents’ wives and of missing minerals in Michigan. There were countless more stories, some liked others forgotten as soon as the sound of my voice faded. This group embraced or ignored them with the same acceptance, and never judgment.
But now I feel that I need a respite. Whether it be the time of year, with the holidays coming, the rigors of the more intense physical therapy, the recent household calamities I’ve had, or the feelings of being left-out of the various conversations because of a worsening hearing problem. Or the loss of Ruth, the departure of Jim, and the reluctance of Betty to participate, just three of the people that welcomed me and paved the way for me to enjoy and blend in this group that had been together for years. I hope to return to the group, if you will have me, when I feel I have something to write about. But right now my mind feels drained and spinning with all that is going on around me.