The phone rang, and it was my good friend, Louise, from the Bay Area. I have not seen her in at least three years, and she was in Palm Desert for a couple of days, on the way to Las Vegas, with her new beau, Mike.
We had a house full of company, but we decided she MUST stop by for at least a drink!
I first "met" Louise during one of my early classes in Grad school in 1991. She came to our campus to recruit interns for her agency, Project FOCYS. Four years later, I was at my interview for an internship at Project FOCYS, and Louise came in announcing to staff that she had passed her second oral licensing exam, and was a full-fledged Licensed Marriage Family Therapist! That day, I thought, I want to be like HER when I grow up!
I was selected as one of 10 interns at Project FOCYS that school year, and has an opportunity to work with and develop a friendship with Louise. She was like a "big sister" or mentor to me during my time as an intern. The following year, I was hired as a paid staff member, and we worked together again. Then Louise left the agency, but we stayed in touch.
During my second year on staff, I became the "Family Group Program Coordinator". I encouraged Louise to come back a few hours a week, to do a "Grandparents raising Grandchildren" group in my program.
My third year at Project FOCYS, I passed both my licensing exams, and during an insane moment, agreed to be the Director of the agency. Louise had been so supportive and encouraging during my countless hours of studying and preparing for my tests. She even gave me a "mock oral exam" a few days before my real one.
Funny how life works, sometimes. I was now director, and hired Louise back to be a supervisor for MY group of 10 new interns! I was technically now "her boss", but continued to learn from her on how to be a good supervisor. She did "Group Supervision" in my office every week, and I sat in, until I had been licensed the required two years to do supervision myself.
Louise came by this afternoon, we enjoyed meeting Mike, and had a great, if short visit, catching up on life!