I was visiting one of my favorite clients this morning for what she told me were problems with her backup device. Turns out there were no problems, she just wanted to chat.
In this chat I found out that she was sent to Catholic school at which "the damn nuns" drove her insane, she was raised by her mom who worked all the time so she was actually raised by her village, she's going to start latch-hooking, and ("oh, by the way, did I tell you") she has been told that her last day at work will be June 30 and then she needs to pack up her shit and go. Luckily her husband has acquired another job which starts in September. They'll move back to Illinois (from whence they came, although originally they're from Italy and Mexico) and she will stare at corn and soybeans in order to obtain inspiration for her new work as a painter, sculptor, photographer, and jewelry maker. She will leave science behind. Because science is a passion of hers but the grant writing process is no longer her friend, has made her quite bitter in fact, and she refuses to do it ever again. I don't blame her. I've written exactly two grants in my lifetime. I got one, felt elated; didn't get the other, felt crushed. I also support a bunch of people who write grants and cross their fingers that they get funding but rarely do. Who wants that? I don't want that. I couldn't handle that.
I will go to her house for a farewell party and then we'll promise to keep in touch but won't. And she'll be added to the pile of people who burned brightly in my life for a little while and then just faded away.
This day. This day... If I hadn't already cried in the shower I'd probably have some tears to shed. Those tears were for no good reason at the time but now I understand they were premonition tears.