My mom officially retired on April 1st. That sounds crazy to me - that my mom retired. First of all, I'm not old enough for my mom to be old enough to retire. Retirement is for....... well, old people. And I don't feel like my mom is old. So, it's just weird to put the words my mom and retired in the same sentence.
All that being said, I am so excited for my mom. So incredibly excited. She's worked for as long as I can remember. There were spells that she stayed at home with me, and there were times that she was able to work part time. But for the past almost twenty years, she's worked full time for the State of Alabama in some capacity. And I just think it's high time she told the workforce goodbye.
Yesterday, the kids and I attended a retirement tea given in my mother's honor by her co-workers. The kids had the day out of school anyway - some kind of weather day - so it worked out perfectly. I wished I had taken my camera, but I guess I really didn't understand what a big deal it would be. I thought it would just be the close group she worked with daily. Instead, it was a huge group of people - maybe forty or fifty - and included the entire department.
When we arrived, I saw that the all the flowers were pink as well as the cups and plates. The table in the large conference room was done up beautifully with two big baskets of various garden flowers - trimmings from azalea bushes, Gerber daisies, and snowballs. As people began to enter the room, I saw that some were wearing pink. But it wasn't until a younger man entered the room wearing a solid pink long sleeved dress shirt that I realized almost all the people in attendance were wearing pink in some shade. It was incredibly touching to me that they had organized the group in this fashion, and even more that the majority of people had remembered to do it even down to the few men in her department.
It was nice to meet some of the people I've heard her talk about for years. To put a face to some of the stories I had heard. And it was even better to hear time after time what a wonderful woman my mom is and how much they have truly enjoyed working with her and getting to know her. One person even said to me, "You have a very special mother!" And I responded, "I know!!"
It's nice to see that other people see the same things in her that I do... her strength, her quiet wisdom, her wit, her grace, her innate ability to listen. All the good qualities I admire in her other people admire as well. And she's mine... forever my mother! She can't retire from the position of mother!
So, here's to you, mom.... even without a job outside the home, you've earned the right to be called retired for all that you've done as a wife, mother, and employee. And I am praying that you're days will be filled with the things that make you happy! I love you dearly!