Beginning a New Chapter

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Well, it’s all said and done.  If you want to view the pictures at a more leisurely rate, our son has posted them here.

The party was really very nice. I was touched by the sentiments that the guys expressed, and I know the hubby was, too.

I cannot tell you how many times I heard what a good boss the hubby was, how fair he was, how hard he worked. How although there were differences, he never held a grudge. The hubby said that before he left the yard, the senior yardmaster hugged him, which was something he did not expect. He did, after all, work in “guydom.”

The hardest part for everyone, I think, was when JR, the hubby’s right-hand man, got up to present him with his gifts. JR choked up and said he couldn’t do it. And the hubby, under his breath, said, “It’s OK, JR.” JR is sort of a gruff kind of guy, but he really feels a lot if you just know how to read it.

The hubby did get his new bibs and a hat from the guys, as well as a gift certificate to Red Lobster. The B&B guys (Bridges and Building) got him a set of tools to take with him. The surprise, once again, was JR. He gave the hubby a level board. A big level board. And it was just from him. He knows the hubby likes to build.

Jack, the rather gruff backhoe operator, got my attention and said, “Keep him moving, will you? Keep him healthy.”

I surely do intend to.

Henry, who has been retired for a few years now, showed up to give the hubby some advice.

When I asked the guys to smile for the photos Bill, the Wabash foreman, quipped, “Why? We have to go back to work!” And we all smiled as the reality began to sink in.

Nero, who has had some health problems, has had the habit of giving the hubby a Werther’s every day. It touched my heart that, as he came up to shake the hubby’s hand, he handed him one last piece of candy.

We walked out to the car. Not the company truck. It seemed sort of weird. And then we waved good-by.

There has been a huge (and not a good) shake-up in railroad management, and the more we hear, the happier we are that the hubby retired when he did. The man who was assigned to his job found out last night. He was assigned. The company will not move him. He does not get a raise. And he won’t assume the job immediately because he was hospitalized with a heart problem. Too much stress?

What the hubby said to me on the way home really put it all in perspective. As I have said, today he wore the bibs he wore on the day he went to work for the railroad thirty-four years ago. What he said was,”I’m so thankful that God answered my prayer. I have prayed many times that I could have a planned day of retirement, that there wouldn’t be an accident or a health problem that would take me out.”

He never shared that with me before, but I have to say that I am thankful too.

To God be the glory!


1 Response to “Beginning a New Chapter”

  1. 1 writeathome May 4, 2007 at 12:36 am

    Hi Becky,

    It looks like your husband had a great retirement party, and it sounds like the guys he worked with really respected him. I think it’s touching that the right hand man got choked up. That says a lot about what your husband has meant to him. May God bless you and your hubby as you begin this new and exciting chapter in your lives! (And I’m glad that God answered your hubby’s prayer.)



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