After 48 years, and at age 80, my dad is finally retiring from his well loved career as an English professor at our local university. The end of spring semester will see him bidding farewell to the campus he knows and loves so well.
While this was unrelated to retiring, a month ago, we were invited to attend a luncheon honoring my dad with a fairly prestigious award. Quite a few of my family members managed to be there for the occasion, as well as numerous other faculty and staff members. Mike’s dad also spent his career teaching at the same university (in the business department), and he and Gayle (Mike’s mom) came to the event.
Here they are with my parents:
On a side note: My dad is completely deaf in one ear -- the unfortunate side effect of a kick he received in the ear during a karate sparring episode years ago. It damaged the nerve and could not be repaired. Sadly, he has also lost a lot of hearing in his “good” ear – thus necessitating the use of a hearing aid. My mom called me the morning of the luncheon to say that my dad had left her a sweet note before leaving for work that morning asking her if she would say a few prayers for him that he would be able to clearly hear the things that were said at the awards ceremony. I don’t know why exactly but it made me cry and cry. I love my dad so much. He truly NEVER complains about anything and handles things with total humility. This small request touched me so much. I was crying and frantically calling siblings telling them to pray their little hearts out that dad could just be allowed to hear well during this ceremony. Megan and I even said a prayer together over our cell phones as we talked.
BUT, moving on to the ceremony . . . and to a much lighter side of things: being with my sisters can be . . . such trouble. Here I am, sitting at the luncheon with Amy and Megan:
At some point, as someone was speaking very seriously. I don’t recall who, probably the president of the university. Megan began giggling quietly and reaching for the used silverware off of our luncheon plates. Amy was looking at the speaker, listening attentively like she should be – oblivious to Megan’s antics. I was trying my best, but finding it very difficult as Megan proceeded to carefully wrap the silverware in a fancy cloth napkin and slide it gently into Amy’s purse.
How is one to be mature and act appropriately when a sister is whispering how hilarious it will be when Amy gets to her car, reaches for her keys, and realizes she must return to the luncheon to give back the silverware she has nearly stolen?
Sadly, for Megan, Amy opened her purse for some gum soon after and, shaking her head and mumbling, “you nerd” to Megan, put the silverware back.
How can these sisters of mine be crying and praying with me one minute, and turning me into a giggling totally irresponsible teenager the next? They are trouble. Somehow I still like them.
But, it truly was a nice ceremony, and, as ever, I was very proud to be known as GTA’s daughter. I really admire and love him incredibly.