Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Start of a New Season

Today (I started this post a few days ago, so it’s not actually today) was a special day. I went to my dad’s retirement party at work. I’ve been to his workplace several times, but I’ve never really been there you know? It’s not like I hang out there, or ever met any of his coworkers. I know what he does at his job about as much as he knows what I do (it's funny to hear him try to explain what I do cause it's not even close).

I was running late for the party. I figured it’d just a little thing, some food, and people would come in and out. As I drove up, my dad was supposed to meet me to walk to the place where they were holding the party. I didn’t see him there. Instead, there was a large man standing there to greet me.

He told me that my dad had gone along with the big boss and that he was there to escort me. The very large man said that this is the first time the big boss has ever come to one of these things so it’s not good to disappoint him. I couldn’t get over this guy. He was a very nice guy even though he could probably crush me like a grape with his arms. Arms that were larger than my head (this is saying a lot if you’ve ever seen my head).

We came through the back of the room in time to hear the big boss make a speech. Looking around, there were a lot of people than I had expected (I later found out that everyone was there. Who was actually running the plant I don’t know). Even people from other areas as well as people who weren’t even working that day came to this thing.

There were several speeches about my dad. Not just from the bosses, but from a lot of the guys that worked with my dad. These were big manly dudes, guy’s guys. It was strange to see their reactions as they were visibly trying to keep it together. One guy actually excused himself. He actually said he was going to lose it if he stayed any longer.

A lot of people came and talked to me during the party. Strangely (to me anyway), they knew a lot about me. They knew most of the places I’ve lived, what I’ve been doing. Apparently, my dad talks more about us (the kids) than we ever knew. Funny enough, everyone had a different idea of what I did.

After the main party, my dad’s direct team of coworkers went back to their break room for a more private meeting. A few of these guys have been working with him for over a decade. It was very special to hear what they had to say. There was nothing fake about this. There was a real sense of happiness and sadness going on there.

My dad has worked there forever. Through that, he put food on the table. Gave us a place to call home. Put us through college. He really wasn’t around that much because of work

Hearing these stories from these other people really gave me a new perspective on what my dad might actually be like. I've never actually gotten to know him. As I’ve gotten older, and since I’ve moved back, we’ve done a lot more things and spent more time together.

Guess later is better than never.

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