Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dad's Retirement Celebration

Dad getting up to defend himself a bit after everyone's remarks. :)

The girls and I drove down to Georgia on Wednesday, November 17 so that we could surprise my dad and attend his retirement reception the following day. (Eric stayed back home to work, but flew down Saturday to spend Thanksgiving with my fam.) My brothers were the only people who knew we were coming, so it was fun to see the reaction from all the rest of the family too!

A group shot of all the family in attendance

After 31 years with the University of Georgia Extension Service, Dad decided to officially retire and then hire back on part time for a while. Despite only being 53 years old, my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a couple years ago. Mom still knows everybody and if you were to casually meet her you wouldn't necessarily know anything was wrong. (You'd probably just think she was a bit eccentric.) But she is getting to the point where she depends on Dad to do pretty much everything for her, and she can't be left home alone too much anymore. So after lots of contemplation and prayer, Dad decided he needed to retire so that he could devote more time to Mom's care.

Grandpa looking awfully proud to have his granddaughter there! (Gabs was getting a little tired though.)

There was a committee of Dad's colleagues that put together an awesome retirement celebration, and I was so glad I was there for it! Along with comments from a couple coworkers, they asked my Grandad, Aunt Jody, and my little brother, Justin, to make some remarks on behalf of the family. Everyone had lots of stories to tell and gave Dad a pretty hard time! Justin did a great job representing my other two brothers and me and cracked everyone up with his speech, so I will share it for anyone who would like to watch.

My brothers have been picking on Dad a bunch about being retired. His facebook page has included questions as to whether or not he is now sporting black socks with mandals (men's sandals) while driving the speed limit in the left lane with his right blinker on en route to his favorite fishing hole. I enjoy the opportunity to tease him about being an old grandpa these days, and an old retired grandpa at that! (Although if we were to be real honest, we are all hoping to be able to retire at 53...admittedly we'd prefer if it wasn't because our spouse has Alzheimer's though.)

My Grandad was happy to have his first granddaughter there too, I think. :)

Besides my mom, brothers and sisters-in-law, grandparents, aunts, and some cousins, there was a huge turn out of extension service colleagues for the party. Dad has had a great career with the UGA Extension Service and is greatly respected by those he worked with. He makes me awfully proud to be his daughter!

Lilian kept a close eye on Mr. Marable, the photographer of the evening. (And thanks to Blane Marable for letting me share these pictures!)

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I love your family and really wish I could watch Justin's speech. You Tyson's ALWAYS make me laugh!!! For some reason though, the video isn't showing. I'll check back in a few days.....