Saturday, November 29, 2014

Retire and Be Still

This man retired from his job with the City of Winston Salem after working there 30 years. I can't even begin to tell you how weird this sounds to me.  We are not old enough for this. How can either one of us be old enough to have worked at one job for 30 years?  

Working at one job for 30 years, by today's standards, is rare but is to be admired. Shucks, staying at anything for 30 years is amazing in itself. Hardly anyone stays with the stuff these days.

I don't think that it has sunk in yet for either one of us. No one really knows how many phone calls, emails and text messages he would get in a day. I think I know, but he would say to me, "you just don't understand." Maybe he is right. I do know this. He has been interrupted at every known family event.  He has been interrupted at almost every meal. On one vacation it took him three days to clear out all emails and answer all voice mails so he could turn off his phone, relax and rest the remaining days. There have been trips to Chattanooga to watch our son play basketball, where I would drive so he could make calls, answer emails and voice mails. There have been church services when he would have to leave to go check on broken water mains or to answer the phone.  There have been nights when he has been out all night long looking for a turn off valve that no one can find. Thanksgivings, Christmas Eves, Christmas Days, that he has spent at work, working with others to repair broken water mains.  He isn't any different than any other hard working man except for one thing.  He's mine and he retired last week and I'm so stinking proud of him.  

I think the most rewarding thing that came out of the past 30 years is watching our children have the same work ethic as their dad.  They work hard. They love their dad and have such a great respect for him. Kristen and I  were there  on his last day at the office.  As her dad was standing there in front of those men and women that he has worked alongside for so many years, encouraging them to "Grow, Glow, or Go" she had such pride in her eyes for her dad.  Brad sent him a text last week that said this, "I appreciate the sacrifices you made all these years, sticking with it to support us all. I couldn't be more proud of you." 

I couldn't help but notice the deafening silence as he deleted his email account last Friday night.  It was good silence though. It kind of all fits in with my theme for this year, "Be Still and Know."  No pings, no massive emails alerts from City-Link, no calls during dinner or in the middle of the night. I have to be honest with you. When I claimed this verse in January, I had no idea that James' retirement and the silence of  his phone would be part of me being "still." There is a calmness in our home now. That non-stop connection now belongs to someone else. That storm has moved on and the peace that comes after it is here. 

We will see where the next years take us.  I'm not retiring. I'm not old enough. Haha! I'm looking forward to see what God has in store for us as we head into uncharted waters.  What will my theme be for next year? So many questions, so little time.

Until we meet again, Fifi

Proverbs 22:12 says:  A good name is more desirable than great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.  I'm so thankful that our  children have a father that they are proud of and a name they are honored to carry.

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