I don’t like goodbyes. The finality of it makes me anxious. That’s probably why I plowed through the last 7 days as if they were like any other. Only they weren’t. My final days at CBS 5 News were closing in on me and I was doing everything I could to distract myself from it until I started hearing rumblings about “something special” planned for my final newsroom hours. I was told to be at the station early (which is really “on time” for everyone else) on Friday, my last day, for a farewell lunch. I still didn’t know what to expect other than food, a video and some words from my news director. I was pretty sure I’d cry. Instead, I was walloped by a fistful of love, humility and appreciation of what I was leaving behind.
To our fearless leader, Leona, who stood up and gave a touching tribute of words, thank you. We like to think our bosses know not only what we do on the outside but also who we are on the inside. Her words and tears cut deep into the essence of me and what makes me tick. She used the word purposeful. It’s a word I will forever cherish. To Kathy and Rob, two of the most gifted people in our business who clearly poured time and heart into putting not just one but two farewell videos together, thank you. They captured not only the spirit of what makes our newsroom so special but the soul of why “telling it like it is” – for me – was simply about just being me. To my colleagues who told stories that weren’t just about what we did for a living but about moments we shared on and off the set. It’s proof that the bond we created during our many hours and years together made us more than just co-workers. It made us family. To my husband, children, Kent and dear friend Jennifer Longdon, I thank them for recognizing the passion I have for making my work have meaning. I’ve always believed that what we do with the job is far more important than the job title itself. Hearing them speak reinforced for me, that I practiced what I preached. To Sean, my “TV
brother/husband” for so many years, where do I even begin? All this time I thought he was tuning me out and then he lays it all out there on television, summing up the very core of what this job has meant to me, the gratitude I feel for being able to do it for so long and why the tears I cried were so genuine. He knows better than anyone the tremendous gift we’ve been given to follow our dream and make it a career day in and day out. I am blessed to have shared this journey with him.
Most of all, I thank you. To each and every one of you who have allowed me into your homes day in and day out, I am grateful. I could not have had this amazing career without your loyalty and support through the years. I’ve been reading the Facebook comments you’ve been posting and the emails you’ve been sending and I’m just so overwhelmed with appreciation. I have loved the opportunity my job has given me to tell the stories people may not have been hearing. I’ve been able to connect with ordinary people who do extraordinary things on a regular basis and it has inspired me to use my position to do my own positive things in the community. I’m a lucky girl.
Dave was always proud of my news career. After all, he was there before it even began. But he also had a love-hate relationship with it. I remember him saying that if he had known what was involved, he never would’ve married me. He came to despise the grind and the instability of it and having a contract dictate our lives. And yet, he took pride in my accomplishments, even after divorce. So in some ways, what my daughter found on in his phone, when she finally got the courage to go through it, shouldn’t have surprised me. He had only a handful of pictures on it and one was of me. It was of me with President Obama in the White House. I never knew he had it, much less kept it. He was always proud of me. Always. And I know as I exited CBS 5 News with an armful of gifts and an overflowing heart, I made him prouder than anything I’ve ever done in my career. I’m putting our children first.
My work is not done and I have plans to continue doing it, of which I will share in another blog. But for now, know that this is not goodbye, but a “please stay tuned.”