Friday, December 31, 2010

Examples of retirement

There have been three major impressions of retirement for me.

First were my father's uncles.

One retired to farms in Pennsylvania
after years in the Navy.
The memory is going out to Uncle Evan's farm,
seeing the cow behind the barn
and watching him work on carving a table.
He loved it all-
and pointed out the hand of God in the mist.

Uncle Ned lived in a small "flat" in the city.
Retired and blind by his work as a
lithographer for the government.
He painted walls and canvas.
My aunt put the pins in for him to follow.
He died shortly after we visited.
She lived in a "manner house"
for fifteen years more,
We wrote each other once a month.
Her kind letters got me through some tough spots
in my marriage and life.

Second there was my mother's aunt.
She retired to a trailer in California.
Not far from the beach
the community was totally '60's senior.
Yup, flamingos and all.
she and her husband were a hoot
lots of laughter whenever we visited.

None of these people had loads of money.
All were cared for
by family in the last few years of life.
What I noticed the most is they were simply
Happy.
There was a sense of peace around them.

I am beginning to see how I can get to "that place".
There is a sense of peace of just being with the land.
There is a joy
in watching someone do
something they have always wanted to do.
I don't feel the need to
"accomplish" anything more
than just being available to my family
and enjoying my life.

Hopefully, when my great nephews and nieces
visit many years from now
they will walk away knowing it is possible
to simply be happy
for at least one season of their lives.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes - happy - a great retirement goal :) c

firstSTREET said...

Great post about the true meaning of retirement and how to spend it! I think the memories we make as children stick with us forever, and although we don't realize it at the moment, they become huge influencers during our lives, as yours have. Thanks for sharing! I certainly agree with you that the ultimate goal is happiness, not the accumulation of material wealth.

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