As we left exams in college, someone would inevitably say, "Well, it's not the end of the world, just the end of a career."
I just ended a career. That was a week ago. Last night we went to my retirement dinner, thrown by my ex-coworkers. When we had our Christmas parties, we normally had about 18 people there. Last night a total of 32 people were at the party. The retirees I had previously worked with were all there except one who is in a nursing home. I was highly honored.
I was also totally blown away by all the gifts and the amount that was spent on me. There were multiple gift cards, presents and a money tree. Helen and I were picking the "fruits" of the tree for almost 30 minutes. Don't misunderstand me. I'm thrilled for the monetary gifts, but one I was hoping would be there was there. My manager presented me with a Texas flag that was flown over the state capitol the day I retired.
Standing there at the head of the table, wearing my hawaiian shirt, boar's tooth necklace and a large sash that said "Retired" I almost got emotional. It was really good to see so many people that were my coworkers going back 25 years.
I told them I hope to see them at the Christmas party, but now that I'm gone, I'm not sure they'll get it organized and planned.
Till then, I do have pictures.