Last night I had the priviledge of attending a retirement celebration for two men who dedicated their lives to our industry. I didn't know either of them very well but, as I posted before, one of them was on our board of directors for over 10 years and I have associated with him on a few projects since I started with this organization. Mostly my boss and I were there to represent our company.
Anyways, after a buffet dinner there were a number of speeches and then an open mike time. Every person that got up thanked both of the men for their hard work, dedication, sense of humour and mentoring over the years. They ribbed them a bit and shared stories (some of which were probably best left UN-repeated) but all were shared with lots of respect. There were even a few tears shed and they were all genuine.
After everyone had a chance to share their thank you's, the two men who were being honoured were called upon. The first one was very uncomfortable with public speaking but his words were so heartfelt. Basically he said thank you to everyone for their kind words. Then he paused and said "it all goes by in a blink of an eye. I will miss coming in to the office each morning but I'm excited to experience some new things".
It made me think of the Kenny Chesney song "Don't Blink". But here I was, witnessing it live.
The second gentleman, the one I am familiar with, also said thank you and pointed out that this would have been the 41st wedding anniversary for himself and his now-decesed wife. Everyone choked up and we all raised our glasses in a toast. Very cool.
At the beginning of the night, one of the first people I saw when I walked in to the banquet room was my grade one teacher!!! I was able to visit with her for almost 20 minutes and we caught up. She's still teaching and absolutely loving it. She was an incredible teacher. I still have wonderful memories of that class. I told her that Sara just got married and that I am still friends with Meredith. Both of them were in that class together. It was neat to be able to see her again. Sort of my own "Don't Blink" moment!