The month after I started working at UNT, two of our students were involved in a car accident in Mexico, and one of them was killed.
I had a file on that.
I also had a file on the rape, and one on the vandalism. I had a file on the fatal heroin overdose in Amsterdam.
When I left my job in Study Abroad, I took them with me. They were all at least 10 years old and, as it happened, the next person who held that job threw away all the files I left in that desk.
Anyway, this 6" stack of files has been following me around for many years (almost certainly not in keeping with the standard policy on record retention).
Today, I was clearing out my files, knowing that most of what I had in there is not going to be useful or used. Making huge piles for the recycle bins.
And there they were. Letters from the grieving mothers. Obituary notices and Mass cards. Faxes and legal advice.
I had labeled the first of the files "One Time" meaning, "this isn't EVER going to happen again." But there was a "One Time II" for a different problem.
Something about keeping those files seemed really important to me.
Now, they are gone. I've put them in the shredder (I had a little cry, first, for all the tragedy and stress and worry of them.)
I will never read or need to read them again. It's time to walk away from those old, scary times. It's time to walk away from this place.
There's been a lot of good here, and some bad.
Either way, it's time to open my hands and let it all go.
(or, it will be time, in 7 days).