I am just dragging myself through this week. Four years ago I had started paying into a self-funded leave so I could join Kevin for the first eight months of his retirement. I would have started my leave on January 1, 2016, and Kevin would have retired on February 1, 2016. I suspended my leave when Kevin got sick, and needless to state, Kevin never got to submit his retirement notice. So, as this week passes, I can’t help but think about how different it should be.
If Kevin was alive, right now we would be in a frenzy of activity. His voice would be booming out, his laughter would fill the house. He would be in fine form. We’d be planning something for this Saturday, a final so long to his workmates. The phone would be ringing off the hook, the food would be planned, the atmosphere would be almost manic. The music would be all lined up for Friday; no doubt a whole series of selections including Alice Cooper’s ‘School’s Out’ and whatever other songs he thought fit the bill.
We’d be finalizing the details for our celebratory trip; he’d wanted to go to Vienna and I had wanted to do a river cruise and so we had compromised on a Viking Cruise that would satisfy both our wants. After we returned from that, a month or so later, we would be off to Newfoundland to tear down the “Shack” that we’d purchased and figure out what we would put in its place. Plans, there were so many of them – he was always planning something.
So the days keep turning on the calendar, and the beginning of February looms large. One more milestone to get past, one that Kevin had so desperately wanted to achieve. His dad, Jack, had died before he made it to his retirement, Kevin had commented on that many times, determined to retire as soon as he was eligible. Such a tragedy that he never made it to that point. All those plans and dreams unfulfilled, although, if he’d lived to be 90, he’d likely still have been making plans and dreaming dreams. And I’d have turned off my hearing aid just so I could have a break. How I wish.