Friday, March 28, 2008

Da works

He never complained about work.

Forty years in the same place – Mom and Eric will confirm this – and we never heard him complain about it.

It’s remarkable enough that he went to the same place every day for 40 years. Fifty hours a week. On his feet. Lifting, building, moving.

But he never complained.

Da works. It’s what he does. It is what he’s always done. And it is simply inconceivable that he won’t be working anymore.

We’ve known today would come.

Today is his last day at the place he’s gone to every day for as long as I’ve been alive.

Forty years. Never complaining. Just working. It’s what he does.

We’ve struggled with what to say to him about retirement because it’s hard to imagine this new life he’s going to have.

That kind of freedom is hard to fathom. If the rest of us are struggling with the idea of him retiring, I can’t even begin to imagine what he’s feeling and thinking right now.

Of course your first instinct is to try and be helpful. I was going to make a list of the things I’d do if I’m Da.

But this isn’t about me or what I’d do.

It’s about him.

And it’s about goddamn time he gets a break. It’s about time he’s not doing what anyone else wants or needs him to do.

So have a ball, Da. Do everything or do nothing.

For the first time in a long time, this is your time. Enjoy it.
I am listening to: Johnny Nash – I Can See Clearly Now
I am reading: Grisham’s The Innocent Man (it’s getting better)
And I am: Working


Susan said...

I can understand the dedicating your life to one company – but it is way beyond my comprehension to dedicate your work life to a company and NEVER complain about it.

I stand in salute to your Da – who has a softer spirit than I will ever possess – he is truly one of a kind.


Posolxstvo said...

Being as you're in Chicago and all, when I first read this title, I thought this was going to be a post about ordering food. "Yeah, gimme a sausage sammich wid 'da works'."

Tangentially speaking, here in Philly if you go to Pat's or Geno's (sp?) and you want a cheesesteak with Cheez-Whiz (an experience I recommend everyone try once), you go to the window and say "Gimme one, with." That's all.