Walking in to work this morning, I heard a voice call my name.

Last time that happened, it was Elizabeth, who’d just arrived for MedSchool and recognized me.

This time, it was Jenny, the ex-student admin for our department. Jenny is the nicest, most wonderful, motherly, loving, understanding, accepting and easy-going person I have ever met. If I ever got to pick a second mother, she would pretty much be The List, with the possible exception of Dave’s mom, who’s also pretty wonderful.

Example: When I was here for interviews, I was still taking my anti-diabetes medication, which caused me to somewhat regularly wake up in the middle of the night and toss my cookies. Sadly, I made it to the bathroom of the hotel room but still managed to get said cookies all over my pajamas. The next day, I asked Jenny if, during some free time, I could go find a laundromat. I had two days of interviews here left, and then was headed to UNC. Jenny told me to just have the hotel do the laundry, charge it to the room, and the department would pay for it. Granted, not her money, but she let me do it, and then spent the rest of the time making sure I was okay and everything. It was so wonderful, and she really was one of my top reasons for coming here for school.

Sadly, she took time off to have a baby, then another baby, and then be a stay-at-home mom for awhile, so she was only around for a little bit at a time once I actually got here. When she decided she wanted to come back, the department only had a part-time position, having already hired someone for her old job, but still needing help for that person. She wanted full-time, and moved on.

But then I saw her today, and she’s back on this side of campus, and my day went from 0 to great in the time it took for her to call out my name. We talked only briefly, about John, diving, research, the nearness of my graduation, her kids, her new job, but it was a wonderful couple minutes.

Do you ever have someone in your life who can just brighten everything, even with brief exposure? That’s how Jenny is.

And suddenly, even doing a bunch of harvests today wasn’t that bad, even if I did have to work with the incompetent labmate.

Coupled with an hour of coffee and gossip with Rhiannon, life is great.

AND we leave for vacation in 5, count ’em, 5 days.