The fan circulating the cool stormy breeze through my house is so loud, I can hear it throughout the house. Although I am finding myself thankful for it tonight, darn air conditioning is acting up.
It's been an emotional week. Full of highs and lows. People that I'm thankful for. Short tempers and high spirits. All the things that happen when any group is put through a huge change. Our little group has been put through more than their share.
We are a family. We aren't co-workers, peers, supervisors. We spend way too many hours together for that to be the case. For 10 months we have been in a state of change, turmoil, transition in our professional lives. We've had to learn to deal with the fact that our "family" would be fracturing, no way all of us could move forward with our future, for a variety of reasons.
Our beloved Y was closing, our building was not sustainable. I remember the day it happened. The beginning of the end for that beautiful, old piece of history that we loved and hated depending on the day. The flood in January of 2014.
We all knew the day would come. For a while that first evening as we sat there in shock we feared that we would never open again. The damage was intense. Water everywhere. Large parts of our building seemingly destroyed. Ceilings coming down, water continuing to rise in the lowest levels of the building as the water continued to come down from 5 floors above, seeping through nooks and crannies.
There were four of us sitting in the lobby that night. Emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted from the battle we'd fought since the early hours of that day.
I remember the feeling in my heart. It felt hallow. It was a building for pities sake. The sense of loss was almost over powering.
Our "family" worked hard. Hubs was part of that family, it was when he still had an office on the main floor. That flood caused the Corporate Offices to move out for the first time since our Y had opened in 1926. And while we worked for 9 long months to get back to where we were, it wasn't meant to be. It was the beginning of the end for that old girl.
Ten months ago the decision was made, the battle ceased. It was time. We'd done a good job holding our own, we'd grown our membership base, we'd proven that a Y still belonged downtown. But it was definitely time.
We got word that we were going to have a new Y, in the heart of the city. A new kind of Y. She's almost ready, soon we will open her doors.
This week, I closed the door on the past for the final time. I was struck by the powerful feelings it held. As I pulled up out front for the day, my heart hurt again. I would pull up again, many times, but it would never be to a Y again. Simply to a building that needs to be emptied. A place full of memories.
I spent Thursday comforting members and staff. Offering tissues and hugs to people that have been there for decades. Encouraging them to come with us to the new location. Climbing the stairs to all of the levels many times, giving final tours to people that simply wanted one more look. I guess when you have been part of the city landscape for 91 years, you don't truly slip off into the night.
Hubs was not feeling well - a migraine level headache took him out - he'd been supposed to join me for the final walk through. One of my B's was in Delaware, the other simply too tired to stay to the bitter end. The Beast, well let's just say the week had pushed her hard and she needed to be home before her children put her picture on a milk carton as a missing person.
I knew that my boss was feeling under the weather, fighting a head cold that wanted to win. But that night he showed up to help me walk every square inch of the old girl. Locking rooms and insuring there was no one hiding in corners. Turning off lights and saying good bye.
I am blessed to work for a man that I can truly respect and admire. He is a true cause driven leader. He lives it.
I'd shared with him that I wanted to toast the old girl, after her doors were locked she was no longer a Y, just real estate. Despite a cold and probably needing sleep more than helping me, we toasted the past, the present and the future for our Y.
She does have a future. Because a Y is not just a building, it is not brick, stone or marble. A Y is the people inside. The work in the community. A Y doesn't need walls, it helps, but it is not necessary.
Remarkably, I didn't cry. At least not as I turned the key, reminisced, or even walked out to my car. Maybe it was my military upbringing. Maybe, just maybe I felt she deserved respect. She'd sheltered so many over her 91 years, people had been connecting and finding a place to belong inside her walls for over 9 decades.
I can't say I didn't cry on the way home.
Our new "home" is almost ready. Each day is more exciting than the last. It's bright, airy, full of energy and fun! I am beyond excited about the things that we will accomplish.
The change is hard. We're all running on fumes, working long hours with a single day serving as a weekend, if that. Our families aren't seeing us and we aren't seeing them. Not only that but it's a busy time of the year. Graduations, vacations, endings and beginnings in all of our lives.
On top of all the things that need to happen quickly, we are all dealing with a 91 year old cranky old lady that might be trying to kick us out. Ceilings are leaking that shouldn't have water above them. The elevator decided to quit working the day before we started moving things out. Chunks of ceiling want to fall on the track. It's been so stressful.
I have a lot of work that I should be doing. Schedules, bills to pay, so much. I decided I needed a break. It's time to rest. For a day, that is all I need, I want a long night's sleep. I will be better after a day of rest. My emotions not so raw. My energy level returned.
It's an interesting place. Looking west I see the past, it's quiet in its worn regal state. Looking east is the future, full of life, excitement, energy, power, and possibility.
Now it's time to give in to sleep.