Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The Ceremony


The Banner Chris Put Up for Me
Elkridge, MD
December 21, 2021
What an emotional day. 

My official retirement ceremony was conducted yesterday. And for the afternoon we met at a local establishment for the "after party."

My emotions during the ceremony were barely under control. I was honored, humbled, and awed. 

It seems almost as if I just arrived at the organization yesterday, yet I have been fortunate to work for the same group for more than two decades--my second career, but my true calling. Due to COVID, I could not invite everyone that I desired to my actual ceremony and I do not have pictures to share--but, and I have been to many retirement ceremonies and I have been part of conducting more than a few, everyone made mine special and it is a send off that I will not forget and one that I deeply appreciate. 

Left to my own devices, I probably would have just slipped quietly out the door on my last day (which is still to come) without much fanfare. A simple good-bye while forcing the tears back is what I think I would have done--but, yesterday drove home something that I have always known--retirement ceremonies are as much for those who remain behind and for those being honored. And I have to admit, spending time recounting the impact of what our team has done made me proud to have been part of it. Not in terms of activities, but in terms of people and lives and creating a work family.

It was pure coincidence that Winter began one minute before the start of the ceremony. 

And then there was the after party where more of my friends and coworkers (past and present) attended and we talked of old times and the future. I am glad I limited the party to a few hours or I likely would still be there not wanting it to end. 

Thank you to all who helped make the day special.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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