life

Mondays

Years ago, my dad called to tell me how many Mondays each of us had left to work in our careers. My number was large enough to cause despair. Since he’d started a new career in mid-life, his was smaller, but was still way too many.

I always had young parents. They dated at fifteen and sixteen, married at seventeen and eighteen, and had me at twenty and twenty-one. There were boys I went to high-school with who flirted with my mom because she looked so young.

When I was out of college my dad was still young enough to play basketball after work with his buddies. The picture from our on-a-whim day-trip to Mexico shows his arm in a cast from the break he got falling on the court. And mom was still young enough to have fun at the Corona Club and Crosby’s.

But even Mondays go by quickly. Last week I took the day off to drive to Fort Worth for my dad’s retirement reception. After twenty-seven years at his new job, they gave him a cake, a bell, and well-wishes. Many nice men showed up who were sincere when they said they’d call him soon for lunch, but who never will. They talked and shook hands and drank punch and laughed and went back to work.

My dad is one of the few people I know who regularly gets to work before me. When I log in to my Outlook account in the morning, I’ve always felt better knowing he’s just an email away. But the day after his retirement, he called to laugh because I was at work and he wasn’t, and if I email him now I’ll get no response.

For years my parents have looked forward to my dad’s retirement. The trips they would take, and the things they would do. And the Mondays went by, and my young mother’s doctor said she had four months to live. And the Mondays became more precious, and four months’ worth passed. It’s been a year and a half, and the Mondays still pass.

Daddy’s work Mondays are over. Mine are now what his were when he called me those years ago before babies were born and grew into teenagers, and friends and grandparents died, and the world changed in so many ways.

The retirement my parents looked forward to is not the one they will know. They are on their long-planned trip to the northeast, but they never imagined they’d need oxygen and walkers and wheel-chairs for a sixty-five-year-old. Somehow the cancer has affected my mother’s mind. She told me they were going on a graduation trip, but soon after thought that I was the one going. She’s no longer sure where they are going, but she’s still happy they are going.

When I think now that I have as many working Mondays as my dad had when he called, it no longer seems like too many, but too few.

About Nowhere Tribune

A husband and daddy, striving to love his neighbors and be kind to his pets. I love good food, good beer, and a few good friends. My other interests are hiking, taking walks, lifting weights, reading books by manly authors like Hemingway and Twain, and splitting fire wood with my bare hands.

Discussion

21 thoughts on “Mondays

  1. I’ve got about 300 to go. Jeezus! Thanks for the pick-me-up…

    Posted by jim- | November 16, 2019, 9:20 pm
  2. This is a beautiful piece and a poignant reminder not to wish away time. It’s definitely made me think that I should reframe Mondays as an opportunity, rather than something to get through.

    Posted by Hannah Louise | November 17, 2019, 2:10 am
  3. Oh what a touchibg story

    Posted by The Snow Melts Somewhere | November 17, 2019, 2:17 am
  4. Quite a touching blog. Nice that you have such a good relationship with your dad.

    Posted by Jason Frels | November 17, 2019, 7:37 am
  5. So very sorry.
    Cancer is such a horrible disease…. it robs us all.

    Posted by Rivergirl | November 17, 2019, 8:14 am
  6. A good story to remind us to enjoy life while we can and not put off the travel for a retirement that may never happen…

    Posted by Kieran | November 17, 2019, 6:24 pm
  7. The beginning of this post had me dreading the countless Mondays I have left. The ending made me see them in a new light. You’ve done the impossible here. I hope you had a happy Monday!

    Posted by Shayne | November 18, 2019, 2:27 pm
  8. Life is so hit and miss. Some people get good, long retirements, and others don’t. It doesn’t hardly seem fair, unless there’s some element to fairness that we’re not aware of at this time.

    Posted by Tippy Gnu | November 20, 2019, 12:19 pm
  9. I will second Shayne. I felt I had too many Mondays left when I did the math. Now, I will try to enjoy each and every one of them.

    Posted by Jay | November 22, 2019, 3:10 pm
  10. I’m so sorry that your parents aren’t doing well. My dad passed at age 62 so I feel like I have to live every day like I might die young. My mom is 78 and healthy but who know what the future holds. I’m super excited about your new adventures! And I think I understand what lead you to them. 🙂

    Posted by pkadams | November 26, 2019, 4:34 pm
    • Thank you so much, PK. My mom is only a little older than your dad was–too young for both of them. Maybe when you have a race this way you can come see us! Happy Thanksgiving.

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | November 27, 2019, 11:41 am

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