All Good Things: A Father's Retirement
In life, all good things come hard, but wisdom is the hardest to come by.
It's been coming, sure and steady. Dad's been promising for the last several years that at any time he could retire--next year was it, for sure. But next year would come and he would stay. He wasn't ready to quit teaching, to let it go, to say goodbye to that part of his life. I was honored and lucky enough to get on as an adjunct 7 years ago this fall at the college my dad had taught at since the 1970s, that my mother spent a decade teaching at. We came back home after Rick retired, and we moved in next door to my parents. A few years after getting here, I was ready to go back to work, and Cisco College is where I went and where I've been ever since. This fall I will start my third year as a four-fifths instructor (full-time, but non-tenure track) in the English department, and it will be hard, in some ways, to know that Dad has left that behind, that an institution at the college has left--he was one of the longest-working employees there and the last from my childhood to retire.
I will carry him and his presence with me, though, reminders of him in my office, since he made sure I got all his good stuff, and indeed, I did.