After a week off to handle family affairs following my father-in-law’s passing, today it was back to work. I was greeted with open arms from concerned coworkers. They presented a nice card for the family. I have signed many cards for other coworkers in the past, but haven’t until now been on the receiving end of such a gift. It felt wonderful. Hawai’i tradition is to give money for those who are bereft, and my coworkers pitched in with small hunk of cash. It was a nice token. The money will help pay for a nice meal when family comes to pay respects.
My wife returned to work too. She also has supportive coworkers who showered her with affection and cards as well. They really felt the brunt of my wife’s absence in a busy ophthalmology office as she often had to take time off to care for both parents. She called me a few times intermittently for support during her down times. A few encouraging words sent her right back to work with more confidence.
I normally teach a yoga class to my coworkers, and left some of my props at the office, not knowing it would be a few weeks before I would retrieve them again as Luke has been in the hospital. While I was gone, my supervisor took my yoga blankets (the one’s featured in this post) and sent me the above photo. It made my day! One of my coworkers said she would borrow one of my straps I left on my desk every day and practice during her lunch break. It reminds me that as a teacher, we never truly know how our influence spreads to students.
When I returned home there was good news. The woman who helps my mother-in-law says she can now come 5 days a week so my wife and I don’t have to scramble to find help on the off day. I showed my mother-in-law the card from my coworkers. She carefully read every entry with her Dorito-stained fingers. She found one written in Japanese from my coworker Mina. This brought her much joy.
Much mahalo (Hawaiian for “thank you”) to all of our wonderful, supportive coworkers!