Linda Kiddo is retiring after more than 19 years with BHC

I am retiring and my last day at work will be Friday, April 27. I have lots of memories from the last 19-plus years at BHC. My job in the Bursar’s Office is the dreaded “collections.” I have stories that make you laugh, cry or pull your hair out! Some are believable and lots of them are unbelievable. With that said, I have discovered how important laughter and having a positive attitude can help.

My greatest memories are the people – co-workers and students. And here is the best memory.

In the fall of 2005 I had cancer. After receiving the diagnosis, I was mentally and emotionally a wreck. My family had seen what cancer does to a family and now I was afraid that it was happening again, only this time it was me. After my surgery and recouping at home it was apparent that I was at my lowest point … and that is where BHC came to my rescue. The phone calls, cards and letters from others who went through this journey (and survived!) started pouring in. All of this along with my faith I found HOPE (my favorite word) again.

As I am recalling my journey, I feel that it started with my supervisor Pat Kretchman, who came to the hospital during my surgery and stayed with my husband and family in the waiting room. She was very brave because some of my family is a little on the nutty side. Although we are friends, she did not have to do that. I was glad and humbled to have her there with me.

Thanksgiving was coming in a couple of weeks, and I was in no shape to get ready for it. I always have Thanksgiving at my home and do all the cooking. So my sons, who are married, said they would come and stay the night before and help prepare the dinner, especially since my husband has no clue as to where the kitchen is!

But this is where my BHC family came to the rescue. The night before Thanksgiving Day my husband came home with a wonderful surprise. My friends at BHC had contact my husband and had him stop at the college. They had prepared the whole Thanksgiving dinner for our family. Someone had baked a turkey, made casseroles and desserts and pies – just everything for dinner! They even sent a beautiful huge floral centerpiece for our table. We were so surprised and so humbled. The tears flowed.

Even as I write this, the tears of thankfulness are flowing. I will never ever forget how giving and wonderful Black Hawk College employees are. God has blessed me in so many ways in my journey of life, especially here at Black Hawk College. I thought that I was getting a job when I applied but instead I got a lot more. I received the deepest friendships that anyone could ever want, kindness, understanding, hope and encouragement for a better tomorrow … and yes, a paycheck.

I will miss BHC and all that it has to offer, and even my “delinquent children” as I call them. I have met many, many great students and their families and feel good that I have been able to help them during uncomfortable and difficult financial situations. Also I have enjoyed working with the many agencies in the community. I cherish the many thank yous and cards that I have received thru the years.