Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Late-coming Retirement Wishes
When I visited my sister, Marilyn, on February 10th she pulled all these envelopes out of a drawer! Then she presented me with a three-ring binder and 200 sheet protectors and told me she never got around to putting my memory book together. Apparently she contacted family and friends and asked them to send her a special memory or some congratulatory wishes for my retirement. Who has 200 family and friends? Maybe some people on Facebook, but not me!! The pile has been sitting on my dining room table because I knew reading all those wonderful cards and letters would bring tears to my eyes so I've been avoiding opening and reading all of them. My afternoon training plans were cancelled today so I thought it might be a good idea to get the pile off the floor before I leave for San Francisco tomorrow. I'm embarrassed that all these written memories and sincere wishes were never acknowledged before today.
I appreciate all the kind words, especially if someone mentioned that I somehow impacted their life or helped them grow in their faith. I'm humbled by all the nice things people said! Most words made me cry, but a few made me laugh. Marcia wrote: "Theresaisms" --"who will take care of the flowers?" and "I don't want a retirement party." Grace said, "LIve it up." Jean wrote, "I love your memorial garden you planted in front of your yard to honor your parents. The beauty reminds us of how good God is to give us loving parents." Her daughters Amy and Jen said, "it's difficult for me to think of a time when you weren't part of our lives." Karen and Joan Hogan encouraged me not to worry because God has special plans for me. Wendy wrote, "you have been in the business of hope and love for so long." Larry wrote, "your wisdom gained over these years will not be retired, will not be wasted, but redirected." Regina wrote about how we solved problems, made plans and dreamed dreams while walking together for 12 years. Kati thanked me for making a tape of music without words when she was struggling with her divorce. Julia thanked me for a little journal I'd given her when she was confirmed. Marilyn's prayer shawl ministry group encouraged me to save time for a trip to the lake and not get too busy, but to continue making the world a better place. Larissa wrote, "I'm happy for her well-deserved retirement, but it will be an adjustment to her not being here every day." Other words are too tender or personal to mention, but every one is a blessing and I'm so grateful for the gift of these words.
One more I want to share with you from Mildred Scott, a resident at Juniper Meadows. She wrote, "When I moved to Juniper Meadows I had a sneaking suspicion that I had crossed paths with Theresa before. I asked her if her birthday was October 24 and she said it was the 26th. This helped me put together that I had shared a hospital room at the Cottonwood hospital with Theresa's mother. I had given birth to my son, Bryce, and then we had to move rooms. This is where Theresa and Bryce became cribmates."
It's been pure joy to be your mate - whether it be in family, at work, in Cursillo, or in figuring out how to be single again....