Way back in May when I retired, I couldn't decide what the first day of retirement would really be. It wasn't that Memorial Day, the Monday after my last day of school, because I would have been off work that day ANYWAY. It wasn't any of the days after that, because I would have been off (theoretically anyway) for the whole summer.
Ultimately I decided my first official day of retirement would be the day I WOULD have gone back to school if I hadn't retired. I'm sure both of you were agonizing over that with me.
I couldn't decide if I would feel a tremendous sense of freedom as the day approached, gloating (even if only in my mind) over the fact that a whole bunch of people had to go back to work and I DIDN'T. Or if I would feel nostalgic, missing my friends and wondering what I'm going to do with myself now that a huge part of my identity is finished. Kaput. Out of here.
When it was all said and done, how I felt was .....
I almost forgot. The day completely slipped up on me.
One of my former co-workers called last week to ask if I could come to school and perhaps answer the phones some this week (more on that in a moment), and I readily agreed. I pictured myself sitting at the front desk, watching the Olympics on the computer (what were they gonna do, fire me?), and asking the new principal the answer to every single question that came through the door or on the phone. I thought it was the next-to-the-next-to-the-last week before teachers came back.
I didn't have to go after all, and it's probably a good thing because I took my mother-in-law to YET ANOTHER doctor. I'll wait to talk about her ongoing medical issues in another blog post. Bless her heart, she feels terrible about my having to take her up and down the road and back and forth to doctors. She asked today if I regretted having retired. I said, "No, if I hadn't retired, I would have had to quit anyway." She just laughed.
The reason I might have had to go to school and fill in this week was due to the tragic death of the daughter of our bookkeeper/registrar/keeper-of-things-running at school. The 22-year-old was in a terrible car accident last Friday morning when we were on the way home from Wisconsin, and she just couldn't pull through. She was a sweet girl who was also a student in our program for a while. She wasn't motivated enough to be successful in a program like ours, even with her mom in the building, and I'm ashamed that I don't remember whether she dropped out or if she went back to the traditional high school.
I consider her mom one of my dear friends, and my heart breaks for her. It isn't natural for a parent to bury a child; I never understood how my mother managed to go on living after my brother died. (I realize it's not a choice, I understand all that, but I still cannot imagine how one actually goes about doing it.) The funeral home visitation is tomorrow night, and the funeral is Thursday.
I want to kick myself for thinking I have problems. Ever.