Monday, January 31, 2011

His Last Day

Yesterday was my father's last day of work at the mill. He clocked in and then at 8am, he officially retired. After his signed his all of his paperwork, he must have told me half a dozen times, "I'm retired."

He's so happy, and we're happy for him. It's going to be awesome to have him around more often, especially as I get more and more pregnant. And as I mentioned the other day, Lucy is going to be beside herself with joy at the prospect of extra pappy time. But really, it's all about him.

My dad has been working his job day and occasionally night for as long as I can remember, except for those times when he was laid off. He worked double shifts, changed jobs, went on strike, and generally towed the line. I know there were times he was frustrated with his work, and I know there were times when he outright hated it. But just his father before him, he stuck with it.

When I was really little, before my brother was even born, he got steam burns all over his face and neck. Luckily I don't remember anything about this incident except that there was a decent amount of time when he was unable to shave. This left me with a deep-rooted hatred of beards for a long, long time. And still, he went back.

When I was in second grade he was laid off for so long that he started to look for other work. He found a job in Florida, and with the help of my grandparents, my parents started slowly moving all of our things down south. My teacher even had a going away party for me at my school. And then the mill called him back. We had to move our picnic table inside to eat and my parents slept on the floor for weeks until they could manage to get our stuff back from Florida. But still, he went back.

I can't think of a way to adequately express how grateful I am for all of the years he spent working for us, for me. Any gift or token would only represent a small fraction of the love and happiness I have for him at being able to say, after more than thirty years, that today he's not going back.

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Chrissie said...

Congrats Mr. Drnach! So very happy for him and your entire family. Very touching post, Amy. It's amazing the things our Dad's (and Moms!) do for our families. I feel eternally grateful to my father as well. :)

Arizaphale said...

A beautiful tribute. I come form coal mining stock and the years that those men spent down the filthy, deadly pits, labouring for their families, is something we can all learn from. Here's wishing your dad a well deserved and happy retirement.

Anonymous said...

Amy, it's so rare when children realize the sacrifices their parents have made for them. Then too, your dad was considered lucky by many of our friends who'd been laid off in the '70's to have a mill job to hate. I am so happy for him and for your mom--now your dad can be free of the spell that benefits and a decent salary can weave around a man who cares for his family, first. It's amazing to have worked for so many years that you can legitimately retire before you're sixty. Thanks for the post--I think I'll be smiling all day!