This day, December 5, has now become something of a double anniversary day for me.
One year ago today Mom passed away. A few short weeks later, Dad left us also.
Back in late December of last year, after my parents funerals, when I set the date for my then upcoming retirement, I didn't realize at the time that the day I picked was the 1 year anniversary of Mom's death. That realization did not hit me until about two months ago.
This day has come and one year after Mom's passing, after 34 years at my place of work I retired. It was time to go. There were some practical considerations in picking this day to retire, but it is also somewhat ironic. I think both Mom and Dad would be pleased if they knew.
This "retirement" thing is still a little surreal. Many years ago my Father in-law died of a massive heart attack about 7 months before his planned retirement, and 4 months before the birth of our oldest child. Back in March of last year (2012) a good friend of mine collapsed and died. He was three months from his own retirement.
Seeing things like that make you wonder, and as my wife and I approached this time of life, the thought in the back of our minds was , "Will we make it?" I found myself figuratively holding my breath until just before noon today, I walked out the office door for the last time. Some 9 hours later in this day, my mind has still not warped itself around the reality that I am now "retired". I don't know how many more years we will have, but of one thing I am very certain; each day is a gift; a gift from God; a gift of mercy and grace.
Even as last year at this time my life was unalterably changed with the death of my aged parents, so this year my life is again unalterably changed by the significant life event of retirement.
I am reminded of how much of Abraham's life as it has been recorded in Genesis was days, weeks, even years of mundane living. His revelatory encounters with God would occasionally break up that mundane regular cycle of life, but those times in Abraham's life were the exception and not the norm of his day to day living.
I have had enough of significant life events over the past year. I'm ready to enter a new pattern of day to day mundanes for a while. I want to concentrate on finishing up some writing projects. I have some genealogical research to return to and pick up on. I have retirement funds to manage and blog posts to write. I am ready for a sabbatical from the regular working world; a time to rest, recoup, and do some of the things that the 40 hour work week never really left me time for.
Soli Deo Gloria!