This morning, I left work to attend the funeral of a retired colleague. Lori was 90 years old, and by the time I met her she was only working two days a week as a receptionist. However, once she retired for real, (and sadly, began to forget things) I got to know her daughter.
I had sent an e-mail around the office and to some retirees last week. I made sure that the company sent flowers. But this morning, I realized that I didn’t know anyone else at the church. There were plenty of people, but they were mostly those that knew the family. I realized that Lori had outlived her contemporaries. It reminded me that another retired friend, Carol, once told me about the sad realization that one is attending more funerals than weddings. And then finding oneself looking at the obituaries for real.
I have more retired friends than is normal for a person my age. It must be an occupational hazard.
In the end, I was glad that I was alone, because I was more sad than I thought I would be. I stopped for lunch on my way back to the office and was most grateful to be able to read a book and not talk to anyone.
Then I spent the entire afternoon talking about retirement plans. With actuaries and accountants.
So I came home a little fried and I called my brother to find out how Alex’s first day of Kindergarten went. Technically, I asked: “So how did the boy do?”
He started telling me all about the flag football game on Sunday. Alex punted and returned a kick and made good blocks… Kid seems to get it. Because we raised him on football games.
“I bet Alex knows what a long snapper is,” I said. My brother agreed that he probably did.
(At this point, she realizes that her monologue is just boring and that if she hurries, she can take a shower, get some ice cream, watch some Daria and still go to bed early. Because tomorrow is going to be a better day, anyway.)
In May I attended the funeral of a 104-year-old friend. Afterward I chatted with her daughter and granddaughter, mostly comparing notes about the the fact that Eva didn't like sharing about her fascinating personal history. Still, even though it was sad that most of her children were dead, along with her last husband, Eva hadcat a good, long and remarkable life. I expect all those people you didn't know at the funeral were glad to have known your co-worker, and 90 is a pretty good run!