This issue of the Record marks the end of the month, end of the year and the end of much more for me. After eight years of working together each week on the paper, Joyce will no longer be my reliable source for help, reference, advice and encouragement. Her position has been eliminated and the work she has been doing will be covered by others within the company.
I have to admit that I am not very excited about this change but will be slowly adjusting. For the last few weeks I have been busy learning many of the things she does to keep the paper operating smoothly and also making mental notes for future concerns that may arise. Fortunately, the month of January is usually very slow in this business so I can adjust to the extra responsibilities slowly.
Quite often over the last eight years I have been asked how, as sisters, we can work together so consistently. It just has never been a problem. We seem to click as far as doing our jobs, covering for each other and reminding one another about what needs to be done.
It has been so nice for me to wrap up one issue and then just tell Joyce what is on tap for the next, knowing she will begin working on it right away. She just knows what needs to be done and how it has to be accomplished. Joyce has also been my computer expert, patiently teaching me and answering my questions. When she can't figure it out, she is the one to call the help line and walk through the steps to get results.
For the last few weeks, since I learned that her position was changing, I have sat down and learned many things from her. It has been eye-opening as I watch her slowly do the steps that have been so natural for many years. I only hope I can pick things up as easily as she appears to handle them.
I will not be alone in my efforts however. I will still have the staff at the Morris Sun Tribune to help as well as an entire production department from the Forum Communications Co. My problem is that it just won't be the same without my sister and sidekick.
I will miss seeing her every day. I will miss the gentle reminders of things I need to get done for the week, month or year. I will miss catching up on family, local gossip and personal issues. I will miss reminiscing about past experiences and planning for the future.
I guess I have gone through enough major changes over the years to know that I will adjust. Even if I don't like the changes, I know that life will go on and the world will not come to an end. We will find ways to keep in touch, maybe not daily or weekly, but often enough to keep correspondance going and our connection intact.
It will just be different. Very, very different.