The weight of the world fell squarely onto the shoulders of my 19 year old today. I got a text while I was at work that said “Dad is retiring?!” We had talked to all three kids about Dave stepping away from work, but we never used the word retirement. There is a finality to it that has been hard enough for me to wrap my heart and mind around. So there was a reluctance to say it to the kids just yet. I guess a family member commented on a Facebook page that has been set up in support of Dave. That comment showed up in Sam’s Facebook feed which led her to the group. By the time I got home it was apparent that she had been crying for some time. I asked her if she wanted to talk but she couldn’t. She told me, “I just can’t get it together.” My response “I understand.”
A little while later, I asked her to run errands with me. I had an opportunity to explain to her that Dad could no longer lead the school since he wasn’t able to work full time. We talked about the fact that by retiring Dad was making sure that financially we were okay. She cried some more. It has been a tough day, but now she understands more. And she probably needed to know.
The Facebook group is really neat – lots of positive comments about Dave and great pictures too. But very bittersweet to be sure. You might want to check it out. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1425307577738898.