Pre-retirement

 
   

 

 

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Have I mentioned that I married a good man? That has been brought home to me over and over as I have watched him ready for this new stage in his life.

I have always told my children that their daddy would do a good job even if it was in a sewer and nobody ever saw it. And he would. But I was reminded of this as I watched his workers watch him retire. One of the comments that he heard repeatedly was, “Why are you doing that? You’re going to retire!” And his response was always that he was getting paid through April 30th so he would work through April 30th. In fact, even though this last weekend was not his on-call weekend, he was at the office taking care of things. His successor has not been chosen, and he wanted to make sure he didn’t leave any loose ends, or at least any that didn’t have to be there.

The hubby is not used to being fussed over, except by me and his kids, so I think the show of sentiment that he has received in his basically all-male workplace has really surprised him. He has served as a sort of father figure to some of his younger employees, and these men are telling him over and over again how much he will be missed. He just smiles when he tells me this. His local workforce is divided age-wise, and these are “the kids.”

But his contemporaries have had something to say, too. There was a big shake-up in upper management about a month ago, and one of the hubby’s long-time bosses was “banished” to Kentucky. Nevertheless, this man took time to call and wish the hubby well. Men that he has worked with for years, long before Norfolk-Southern absorbed ConRail, have been calling, too. And on Friday, he heard these words from one of his superiors:”What would it take to make you stay?”

We’ve prayed about this for over a year, and I know the time is right. Nevertheless, my heart was full as I watched him get dressed to work for the railroad for the last time. He really did wear those funky bib overalls that he started out in thirty-four years ago. And he said, “It must be sinking in. I have butterflies in my stomach.”

If you knew my husband, you’d know how much it would take for him to admit even that much.

One of the hubby’s colleagues said they envied him and then they said, “Go for it, man. Have a life.” I know exactly what he meant. The railroad has been a demanding job, and although the hubby had a life with it, I’m sure there will be huge changes now that he will have time (Lord willing).

So I go to the party at noon today. Just the guys, you know. And me. I am sure emotions will be running high. And I plan to come home with a lot of pictures, which I will post later.

In the meantime…here’s to having a life!

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