Thursday, August 16, 2007

My mom retired a few weeks back...

My mom!
Me and Savannah.

My sister, Michelle.

My mom and her friends and co-workers.

More of the party.
Savannah made her a card.

I have been meaning to post pictures of her party and share a little about her. I may or may not have all these details correct, but it is how I remember them. My mom started working in her teens at Kresge. It was a what Kmart was before it turned into the God awful store it is now. I am not sure exactly how long she worked there, but she left there and moved onto working at the Burlington Railroad. She took the train into Chicago each day and did key punch. My dad worked there too, but that is not where she met him. They just "knew" each other from living in the same place. Eventually, they were married and they both took the train into Chicago each day. Soon, she had my sister, Leann. She only took 6 weeks off and went back to work. She decided she had to have another baby so she could quit working. You know it was the 60's and feminism was moving up. You were supposed to work if you had one baby, but if you had two... well then you could be a stay at home mom. Next, she had my brother Steve. She spent the next 10 years taking care of Leann, Steve, and along came Michelle. They were all born in less than 4 years. She was busy. Very busy. I came along when Leann was 8, Steve was almost 7 and Michelle was almost 6. We spent the first 2.5 years with her being home like she had been for a long time. Then we moved to Boulder Hill. It was a nice house - a tri-level. Lots of room and a corner lot. They sold 2 houses to buy that one. Our neighbor told my mom that she would have to go back to work to afford the taxes on the new house. My mom freaked and started thinking of ways she could work and not have to get daycare for 4 kids. She decided to work in a nursing home at night. After all, she knew how to take care of people. That is what she did all day. She went to work part-time at night for awhile. I am not sure how long at the nursing home. Eventually, she got a part time night job at the hospital. She did 3 nights one week and 4 nights the next. I have NO IDEA how she did this. You never knew she was up all night. She was there to make breakfast in the morning and see us off to school. Then she would sleep while we were at school and wake up to see us when we walked through the door. She made dinner every night at 6pm. She didn't wimp out and go pick up fast food (like I do sometimes). She was very present in our lives. She started her hospital job on the floors as she called it, but eventually went to work in the ER. She loved that place and they loved her. She worked there till we moved to Florida. I think about 14 years. We moved here and she took a year off. Then she went to work part time at another hospital. She hated that job and all the BS that came with it. She finally decided to quit that and "retire". Retirement didn't last long. Soon she was caring for Dixie. A kind older lady with Alzheimer's. She sat with Dixie a few nights a week until she passed away. My mom took a little while off between jobs and finally landed her job at our local library. That was 8 years ago. She was the happy lady that checked out your books. Many of my friends would say, "I saw your mom at the library. She is so nice!" Her friends at the library gave her a going away party. It was very nice and fun for her. My mom has worked hard her whole entire life. She has never asked for much. She has always been kinder than most people and gave just a little more even though she didn't have to. People love my mom. They tell me this constantly and I always have the same answer, "Yep, we think she is pretty great too!" When I think of all the people that God could have given me to, I can't believe how incredibly lucky that He chose my mom and dad.

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