june 18, 1965

my dad just sent an email to his family telling us that there is little more than 3 days left before he retires from you united airlines. he's worked there for over 46 years. we grew up airline brats with an amazing senority date. we were so blessed in that we could travel to see our family that we were far away from. we went places & saw things. mind you, we surely weren't rich - but in so many ways we were. not many kids got to go to paris, australia, london, or alaska. and surely they didn't get to jet set off to california or utah any weekend they wanted to. i used to be able to walk up and down the concourses of an airport and be able to tell you what every single airplane was. i spent so many hours days in airports trying to get somewhere. my dad would take us for walks to the bathroom, or just up and down the concourse so we wouldn't all go crazy. none of this is important, other than you should know that i can't see an airplane, let alone be in an airport, without thinking of my dad. without feeling a sense of pride in what he has done. he worked hard for his family and we had an amazing childhood & life. 

i responded to his email and got an autoresponse back. not an out of office, but redirecting people who need him professionally & personally. i don't know why, but it made me cry. the ugly cry. don't get me wrong, i'm so excited for him to retire. i have big plans of talking him into little trips out here to visit and spend a few days with us. he's retiring with honor & everyone knows it. but it is the end of a very grand era & apparently i'm more sentimental than i want to be. 

i've always loved that he started working the day after he graduated from high school and never quit. i loved that united took my parents from california to chicago a long time ago & that they stayed. chicago was a great home. and while i hope they don't stay there forever - we'll face that change when we need [or get] to.  there are parties being thrown this weekend. i so wish i could go. i know they will be good, though.  i hope they're special for him. i hope people do it up right for him, let him know he's appreciated and loved. i know he is, i just hope he knows it. people that know my dad have nothing but good things to say about him. people that know him and have been able to work with him have been nothing but lucky.and blessed.  i know that's how i feel, since i was one of 4 that was lucky enough to call him "dad".

thank you, united. more importantly, thank you dad. you done good.


Holly O. said...

Now he's doing the ugly cry too.

Suzanne said...

This is a great tribute to your dad's career. He sounds like a great man, employee, and dad. You're right-you are lucky! :)