In 2019, I was job hunting and afraid I would never find something that was meaningful and that fit me. I wasn’t sure what to do with myself, until I happened across a one year Mat leave coverage position with the Canadian Cancer Society.
In that role, I lucked out by being assigned to a brand new, start from scratch team, headed by the inimitable Heather Gray. I told her that I would love to find a permanent role at CCS, and ideally one working with her and her team for the long haul.
This woman is pure magic. She is smart, and funny, and wicked clever. She fosters creativity, and thoughtful discussion, and will go to battle for you, if that is what is called for. The first time I met her in real life, I fell madly in love. I literally came home and told Dave that she is who I want to be when I grow up.
Today was her retirement day, and it has been emotional and meaningful and heart wrenching, and all the things. Yesterday our team arranged a retirement farewell celebration, and managed to surprise her by having one of our colleagues drive three hours to deliver her gifts in person.
She and her husband and their cat Sara are hitting the road to enjoy retirement in their giant RV, appropriately named Rosie, and they will be travelling North America to see all the people they haven’t seen in ages and places they have yet to see.
Saying farewell has been a hard thing. I will miss her bubbly energy and her amazing anecdotes, and her ability to always have some story that makes me wonder how many lives this beautiful woman has lived in her lifetime. While I will no longer get to hear “well, okay, Gang” on a regular basis, the lessons I have learned from who can easily be said to be my best boss (and who put me in connection with my new, amazing, awesome, wonderful boss) will keep her with me for the rest of my life.
As she said today, in the most Heather of ways – “now I stop being your boss Heather, and become your friend Heather”, and I am so incredibly grateful to have her as my friend.
Now for the Next Gray Adventures!