My Dad is Florida-bound; his dream is finally coming true. I think we started watching informational videos on The Villages about 15 years ago, but at the time none of us were sure if we were humoring my Dad or if he was serious. Now we know. My Dad is retiring this week. He is moving to The Villages. Even though I have known this move has been coming for months (years actually), it still took my breath when the time came.
My Dad...my maker of chicken pie...the one who is always on my side and thinks I am hilarious, the one who thinks I am great even when I am wrong and is always proud of me...how can he be leaving? Who will tell me how to make dressing or give me directions on random SC roads (yes, he will have a phone in Florida; I am being dramatic, but I am overly emotional and that is how I respond to things).
So I spent a lot time thinking-searching my heart for why I felt pain. I have gone back to so many summer memories. My dad would always be out in the yard cleaning the pool, piddling with plants, and messing in the garden in the lot next door. Saying that I helped would be untrue, I basically walked along "over-seeing" his work and talking incessantly. I learned to play cards and shag and learned the lyrics to just about every beach song that came on the radio. I did gymnastics in the front yard and back flips off the diving board (sorry for the gray hairs that caused). It really does not seem like very long ago.
So I think I put my finger on it. The moving away doesn't hurt nearly as bad as the aging does. It's just unbelievable to me that my Dad is old enough to retire and move to a retirement community. Life really is just a vapor.
My dad started watching videos years ago and knew what he wanted to do. He planned and he achieved his goal! Now I am the proud one!
For 50 years my Dad has been working.
I do not remember him taking a sick day.
I don't even remember him sleeping late.
Now he gets to spend his days filled with golf, messing around in the yard, and socializing with friends...all the things he loves.
I want him to know how much I love him and how HAPPY I am that he gets to have his days in the Florida sun.
Now I'm going to go out and plant my garden...and I'll call for directions on how deep to bury the plants! Like my Dad, I have over-seers who will be happy to talk my ear off while I do all the work.