March 31st, 2008 my dad is retiring from his job and begins an incredible, new stage of life. My mom will follow in a couple of months.
I will never forget when my dad came into my brother and I’s room at the age of 6 to tell us he had gotten fired from his then job. We asked why. He said “because daddy’s boss didn’t think he was giving 100%, and daddy’s boss was right.” That was thirty years ago. He got a new job soon after and he never left the place. That speaks volumes.
I wish I had a picture for everything that those thirty years represented to me. Here is a glimpse of the memories that dad provided:
– The one and only house I ever grew up in (San Jose, CA). Bought in 1970 for not so much money. He and mom still live there. Worth, well, a bunch of money.
– A catchers uniform for Christmas when I wasn’t even in baseball.
– My first bike. (Rampar)
– My first football.
– My first football league.
– My first pair of drumsticks. Tons more over the years.
– An above ground swimming pool in the backyard (that was sunk in the dirt enough to only make it 2 feet above ground).
– My first Drumset (found in a pawn shop)(I had to pay half)
– My second drumset (electronic) (Again, I had to pay half.)
– Camping with the Boy Scouts.
– Summer camps at church.
– $20 on Sunday nights during high school (and yes sometimes college) to take my girlfriend out to dinner.
– My ’69 volkswagon bug (I had to fix it and keep it running)
– My Saturn SL (I had to pay half)
– 49er season tickets watching Joe Montana during the 80’s.
– College tuition
– My AAA card
– Our first Macintosh computer. I literally grew up on one. In the city where they built them.
In college mom would give my brother and I the gas card for a one time fill-up. She wouldn’t see it for a month. Then we heard the famous “mom!!! Get the gas card from the boys please!! We never thought he would notice the snacks that were charged.
When my brother and I played football together in college, there wasn’t an away game or home game they ever missed. That meant traveling all over California to see their boys in action. After the game, they would let us invite whoever to dinner. Home or away.
The first time I got to run out of the Dallas Cowboys locker room and onto the field – my dad and mom were there. That wasn’t cheap.
He was also there in Germany with mom and Jiyoung (we were dating back then) to see two football games while I played with the Frankfurt Galaxy.
Flying out from California to Atlanta again, and again, and again. Then the kids were born. Again, and again, and again.
As I think back to this company, this job, the place that dad went to everyday as a salesman for the past thirty something years, I have great memories of what it had provided. I hope they have great memories as well.
And now, being a dad and a husband, I have great appreciation and respect for what he has done.
Congratulations dad. Happy retirement. You’re a gift.
(NOW COME ON OUT TO GEORGIA!!!)