Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Gold Coin

The first picture of the gold coin exemplifies, in one humble offering the purpose and meaning of my life's work.  Skipp and I hung on his every word as he approached me and said.  "I have something to give see, I received my ten-year gold recovery coin a few weeks ago.  I shared my story and I told them my recovery began with you - I have a life because of you so I want to give you this coin...." He placed it in my hand and Skipp and I burst in to tears. We all hugged forever.  Over 10 years ago he was one of my first clients when I was the Halfway House Manager and he has been 'clean' ever since and has been a counselor assistant for over seven years.  

The next picture is of the 'group gifts' from my co-workers.  The book is a "Gail's Memories" book that Ashley (whom I/we lovingly call Sophie-Lennon) created and designed.  It is filled with written memories that dozens of my co-workers have of me that they hold dear.  I laughed and cried at each wonderful entry.   The glass globe has butterflies in it which is Rushford's insignia and it has an engraving which reads 

"Gail, for all those to whom you have given a voice we thank you.  Love, your Rushford family"

Next, my beautiful cake and me with my cake.  It was a strawberry short cake.  Delicious.

Then, me and Skipp - He was so emotional, proud and overflowing with and for me.  

 Next, a hug - one of many.

Then, Ashley (Sophie-Lennon) and Tina.  Two of my dearest friends and two of the three party planners. Ashley was once my intern.  

On to Rosann - the other party planner.  She and I go back over 10 years as co-workers and friends. She even gave a speech, a "roast" of sorts.  I was thrilled.

And last, a picture of 'the gathering' - folks having fun.  :-)




Iktomi said...

very nice :) i'm glad you have such a wonderful "family" and that you have touched the lives of so many people.

Diana said...

Wow Gail, how thoughtful! You must have felt overwhelmed a bit!
The memory book sounds like a very precious gift of fond memories.
You are loved! Love Di ♥

Choices said...

What a wonderful celebration for you. You are loved.
Smiles to you.

Grizz………… said...

Looks like a wonderful day—friends, Skipp, food, love, laughter, a few good tears…and lovely memories to take home. You deserved this celebration.

Cinner said...

Gail, I am glad it all went well for you. you look awesome, you and Skipp are a wonderful pair. you both looked so happy. I know you will miss it, love the gold coin and all it represents. hugs my friend.

Wanda..... said...

What a lovely bittersweet celebration for you Gail. The photos captured the emotions and feelings of gratitude, yours for them and theirs for you. Your cake was almost too pretty to eat. The "Gail's Memories" book was a thoughtful gift!

Shen said...

How happy you look! how wonderful to know you have really turned lives around. You made a difference... and I don't believe you are done making a difference. More awaits you, Gail... you are moving mountains a little piece at a time. I'm glad you got the recognition you deserve.

Bernie said...

How wonderful that you can look back on your career with such loving thoughts and much satisfaction, just knowing you helped that gentleman on his way in life to be not only clean of drugs but productive in helping others. You are one special lady. Great pictures especially the one of you and Skipp......:-)Hugs

Lola said...

I love the pics, Gail!

Lisa said...

WOW! How beautiful!

These are the moments you will hold on to for ever.

Great pictures! and once again a beautiful post.

Much love to you :)


Eileen said...

Beautiful post, Gail.
And such beautiful memories you have shared here.

I know how important those coins are. After our daughter Katie worked to get herself 'clean' and she was able to leave her half-way house, she took the coins she had 'earned' and placed them on the headstone of my Uncle Tom (her Godfather), he had passed away while she was still addicted and living out on the streets, and she said she felt that it was him reaching down from Heaven that helped her to beat back her addiction.

God Bless you and Skipp for the good work you do. God Bless your lives and the lives of those you touch.
Love and Prayers,

Gail said...

thank you so much for sharing in this celebration with me :-)

So glad you are part of this. And oh yes, the Memories Book" is so precious


I am thrilled you are here to be part of the festivities :-)


Thank you so very much for celebrating with me


Hey "girl" thanks for 'seeing me so well and knowing how precious this day was


Bittersweet indeed. I am so glad you came by to be part of this special day


So good to see you and I so love that you see my life's work as continuing on. That means so much


I am so glad you enjoyed the pictures and felt the true meaning of the celebration


So glad you shared in this day with me :-)


SO nice to have you here and share in this landmark day.


I so appreciate you sharing of your daughter and her giving her coins to her Godfather/Uncle. That really touched me.

"thank you" all.
Love Gail

Finding Pam said...

What a lovely party and keepsakes that will be with you forever. My sister retired from her work last year. She was a counselor and had a vast career in Social work.

I know that you will continue working to help others because that is who you are. Enjoy your retirement. Skip is so precious and you both look so very happy.

God will send you little oportunities to help others when you can.

Gail, thank you for all you have done to help those in need. You are wonderful and I am so blessed to know you.

Peace and love to you,

Gail said...


thank you so much for sharing in my special day and for belieiving in me and the work I have done and will continue to do to help and serve others
Love Gail

Grace said...

What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman! :) Congratulations on such wonderful people and experiences in your life. The story about the gold coin was so touching!

Gail said...


thank you so much for sharing in this loving event, and yes - the gold coin says it all :-)

Love Gail'

Tramp said...

Wonderful to see these appreciations of what you have done and what you continue to be. Retirement is not an end but a transition. It is a chance for us to make changes, to adapt to what we have become over the years and continue.
Whether you transitions be major or minor, I wish you every satisfaction from them.

Gail said...


Thanks so much for sharing in my special day. And yes, it is a beginning, a transition with many possibilities to explore both great and small, Amen.

Love to you

Teacher's Pet said...

How happy it is to read such a sweet blog about the happiness....the memories.
Thank you for sharing!!! I loved being here, Gail.

Gail said...


thanks so much for sharing in the joy with me :-)