So Friday was the BIG day.... Jonathan woke up, took his shower, got ready, and hussled the kids to the car to go to school. Sounds like a regular day, right? Well, it wasn't. On that day he knew he would be driving to Montgomery, walk into his office at Merrill Lynch and shock everyone he works with by staying goodbye.
Yes, he left Merrill. As he said to me the night before... "Sometimes decisions just have to be made. This is one of those times." As so he made the big decision. He left... after almost 19 years! He's been there since an internship in college... mostly working with the same people... the same faces, day in and day out for all these years. They are his family... he loves them and they love him.
Merrill has a way of getting into your blood... once you're there, most never leave. You are a Merrill man for life. So needless to say this has been a very tough, painful, and heartfelt decision on both of our parts. The last 3 months have been a struggle, but as often happens when facing hard times, the right answers usually reveal themselves to you.
I won't go into to all the reasons why he left..... they are personal and involve others and out of loyalty and respect for those people, I will keep it simple. Jonathan and I feel that he has stopped growing there.... the company is not what we have always believed it to be...... times they are a changing. And the opportunity arose to take on six Wachovia/Wells Fargo branches.... doing the same thing he is doing at Merrill but with a tremendous opportunity to service all the Wachovia customers as well as continuing his relationships with existing clients... should they choose to move with him.
Friday was a tough day...... looking into the unknown abyss is always tough. And after talking to his administrative assistant, Becky, and his partner on Friday, I was full of tears myself. Like I said before, they are his family and saying goodbye is never easy. But I was so encouraged by the words Becky shared with me..... she said the whole office was feeling down, so saddened..... "he's the life of the party around here, Amanda," she said. But she believes in him, as I do, and knows that this is the right move for him.
I am so proud of him...... leaving everything he's worked on his entire adult life, having the courage to take the big risks, saying goodbye to some of the most important relationships of his life, and leaving all the security of building a career at Merrill all these years (they don't call it "Mother Merrill" for nothing!)..... all of that has made me love and appreciate him so much more. So if you see him, please say a word of encouragement and maybe even keep him in your prayers -- this one is a life-changer!