I am having lunch today with my former mentor. She was my first boss where I currently work. Sixteen years ago, she took me under her wing and helped me to decide to go back to college. By the time I had my bachelors degree, she had quit her job in a bit of a huff and decided to let her professional credentials go... she went to work at a deli! I still called on her to share my professional and educational concerns, but after a while, I realized it was like being sponsored by someone who had gotten drunk (and I have tried that too) - it just doesn't work. She is still my friend though.
Today she starts at an entry level position and will have her orientation, we will have lunch. I do believe it is her birthday too, so I will stop at the hospital gift shop and get her some small trinket.
No matter what later happened, I will always value the immense role she played in my life. I will always value her friendship. (but I certainly wouldn't seek her career advice.)
I have former sponsors I feel the same way about. I value every one of them for who they are and appreciate what help they provided, no matter what later happened.
God is able to put the right people into my life at the right time for the right purpose. Sometimes I wish he would let the same people stay in my life, but that never seems to be my lot. I am still incredibly grateful.
And now I must get into the bathtub!