The end of an era

After 36 years of work, and lots more in school, my wonderful father is finally retiring. I have always been enormously proud of my dad as a man but also as a physician. He is the sort of doctor that listened as well as he examined, asked and heard as deftly as he tended and scoped (he is a gastroenterologist*). Those are too few and far between, and we are sicker and less understood for it.

Dad's last day is two weeks away, but this past Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, parties were being held in his honor. I wouldn't have missed them for the world. Not least because his birthday, and is he ever a fan of his birthday, is tomorrow, so we got to celebrate many things.

Mom and I thought we'd surprise him, so I caught an early flight on Thursday, Mom picked me up in Lake Charles just after noon, and we headed towards his office where subtle texts to and from his nursing staff promised he'd be.


SURPRISE! He was not surprised, as someone had spilled the beans weeks ago (grr; don't do that, people)! That's me, reacting to him saying he knew. LOL.

Nonetheless, it was wonderful to walk through his office doors one last time and hug him tight. The parties, including a roast complete with skits and song, were full of love and appreciation and memories and pride. Truly, I am so thankful to have been at them all.

My alarm went off at 4am this morning, and dear Mom and Dad returned me to the Lake Charles airport for my trip home. I'm not feeling terribly cogent right now but wanted to share a few pictures and give another shout out of Congratulations and Happy Birthday to my dear Dad. You deserve this retirement so much. 

Clockwise from upper left:
Pics of Dad at as med school graduation and more recently, the retirement guest list book, and a colon;
Sharon, who has worked with Dad for 21 years, and Mom;
Dad and Mom;
me, Sharon, Patsy (I think she's worked the whole 36 years with Dad), Mom, Nechelle (she took care of my Nanny and then started working at Dad's office, Lisa (there for many years too!);
the girls of the Endoscopy Lab all of whom gamely wore stocking caps to look bald + fringe hair and mustaches to better resemble Dad + glasses (it was HILARIOUS);
Dad and one of his best friends.

*I once went to Take Your Daughter To Work day with Dad and afterwards, fairly yukked out, asked, "Dad, of all the specialities, why did you choose GI?" "Well, honey, I'm good with my hands."

Sweet baby jesus. 

Cakes of the weekend included Retirement (white cake with almond frosting; delicious) and Birthday Chocolate (made by me; also delicious).