So now, here I am, semi-retired, no schedule, no deadlines, no walls, no bosses, but it's all too little, too late. Nevertheless, I'll log my days, my hours, my unevents; maybe I'll see a pattern, maybe something good will develop, even though nothing could ever take the place of, make up for, all the time I've missed and all the time my boys have missed with me. I'll never get over it, I'll never get it back, I'll never replace it, I'll never forgive it, myself, my circumstances.
Most people look forward to retirement. Perhaps they don't have regrets. Perhaps they feel as though they've done their part, they've earned it. Perhaps retirement means more when you can move to Boca Raton, take a cruise, buy a condo, fly to Paris, I don't know. I still have too much to figure out. Too many things I wish I'd done differently, too many years I wish I could rewind and relive.
There's a timeless poem that reminds us "babies don't keep." I heard it many years ago, and it's been the lament of my soul since my children were small. The mother in this poem is not worried about the appearance of her home, her undone dishes, her unmade bed, laundry half-done; she has more important tasks at hand. She knows that in an instant her children will be gone--her boys, men; her daughters, grown. Her job is eternal, and her tenure fleeting.
Oh, how my heart ached every day I had to go out to some office somewhere and leave my children behind. At night, I cried; not from the sheer exhaustion of it all, but because I had to do it over again the next day, drop my little boys off at some daycare center at what seemed like first light, not being able to pick them up again until dusk. It didn't seem fair.
They grew so fast. Now they are men, gone their separate ways, and the days I missed and the days they missed cannot be recovered. All the jobs I've ever had sooner or later went on without me, I never got richer, or more important, or more renowned, never got a bigger house, finer things, yet it's 20 years later and I'm left wondering where all the time went and what it was all for.
Because I had to work, I had no choice. I wonder.
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton
Have a blessed day.