Last night, my husband Steve was honored at his retirement bash and I am a proud wife. It’s not often these days that someone stays with the same company for 28+ years. Steve is a man of integrity; he’s the same at work as he is at home or at church. He is a faithful, conscientious, hard-working, and kind person. I loved hearing co-workers, customers, even the guys in the parking garage all voice how much my husband has meant to them and how much they’ll miss him. Steve prepared a speech in which he thanked each person with specific comments. Normally, he’s the one nominated to roast colleagues when they leave. His roasts have always been encouraging – never a bit mean-spirited – and I’m sure that’s why he gets chosen. Steve told the group that he worked hard because he wanted to provide for his family (both of his children, and our son-in-law, were present) and because he wants to honor God with his life. Everyone spontaneously rose to their feet and applauded him as he finished.
There was much laughter and even some tears as his colleagues wished him (and us) well in our new venture. The youngsters in the group, much more technologically savvy than Steve, realize how much they have learned from him in dealing with customers and how much they still need to soak up in the remaining weeks. Many commented on Steve’s ability to do an amazing amount of work while making it all look so effortless. One thing I’ve always appreciated is how he leaves his work at home and comes home on time, day after day. He works hard but his work isn’t his life. And somehow God in His goodness allowed my life to join with Steve’s, a gift for which I’ll always be grateful.
On a side note, today is the 20th anniversary of the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake. I was living in Berkeley at the time, preparing to move to Eastern Europe. Each time I came back to the States on furlough, the clock at the San Francisco ferry building, frozen at 5:04, reminded me of those 15 seconds. Since the quake hit just before first pitch of the Bay Area World Series, most locals were safe at home or in sports bars to watch the A’s and Giants, making the Bay Bridge practically empty and preventing many deaths.