Today my Dad's place of employment held a celebration for him in honor of his upcoming retirement. As of next Wednesday, my Dad will be officially retired. And today, at this celebration for my very special Dad, I was more proud than I have ever been to be my Dad's daughter.
My Dad, Ryan's Pop-Pop is a pretty special man. (There's a reason why Ryan's middle name is James, after my Dad). He is selfless and kind. He is humble and unassuming. He is giving and gentle. He is tremendously smart and wise, and has superb insight. My dad has had a truly impressive career. And I have always known that his co-workers, supervisors, and supervisees respected him for his wisdom, smarts, dedication, and insight.
But today, at this celebration, it was clear that the people he worked with for the past 11 years truly understand the man that is my dad. They respect him for the more subtle qualities that make him who he is. They love him for the way he is always so appreciative of the work that people do, from the person who cleans the floor, to the Human Resource manager who developed the orientation program. They appreciate the gentle way he can ask a challenging question. A question that makes everyone stop and think about what they do and how they do it, and makes them want to do it better. They appreciate him for the team-oriented approach he takes to everything. They will miss his friendly hellos and his love of chocolate. They will miss the way he seems to know everyone's name. They respect his inquiring mind and search for knowledge. While the know he is a tremendous teacher, they also appreciate the way he always wants to learn new things. They will never forget the impact he had on their hospital, and how in his wake, he is leaving it a better place.
Listening to many, many people get up and talk about my Dad made me think about how I can live my life better. It made me think about what I want people to say about me when I retire in 35 (oh, who I am kidding, it will be more like 45) years. It made me want to be like my dad. To leave an impact on the people I work with. To truly make them better people just by being who I am. It's a lofty goal. But I've had a great teacher and role model.
Dad, I can't wait to share in your retirement. I can't wait to watch you bond with Ryan in an even more special way. I can't wait to see the stress of meetings and presentations erased from your face. I can't wait to watch you enjoy this much deserved, and much anticipated retirement. No one deserves to enjoy these coming decades more than you!
I love you!