As soon as I announced my retirement my email lit up. "Ah," thought I, "they want to say something nice, thank me, wish me well.." And of course they did - lovely lavish thoughts, thanks and good wishes. And then they asked for letters of reference -just in case we lose touch. Though the list of letters to be written is daunting, I will take great pleasure in thinking over my years of association with each member of my staff, as I outline their strengths and contributions for a future employer. Not sure I will ever capture on paper the times we stayed late to finish a project, laughed ourselves silly when something fell apart or discovered together a great AH HA that took us all forward. There's no room in a letter of reference for the life events we've seen each other through, the highs and lows of spending our workdays together these may years. Writing a sincere letter of reference for each of these folks gives me one more chance to remember that I have worked with fabulous people. Just in case we lose touch.