This past weekend, my dad retired. And I turned 21.
My dad has been a Denver Police Officer for over 30 years. It wasn’t always easy, he had to work overnight, holidays, and birthdays. But I honestly do not remember him ever complaining about having to go to work. He rarely took a sick day and the whole time he did it all for his family. And the city. He sacrificed for us. And protected strangers everyday. He is not only my hero, but a hero to many.
I asked him the night he retired, “If you could go back and do it all over again, would you still want to be a cop?” And he said, “You know someone asked me that and there really isn’t anything else that I can think of that I want to be.”
Most people who heard the news said “Congratulations” or “Job well done.” And the latter was what really got me thinking. Not many people stay in a position that they end up retiring from. So absolutely job well done. Job well done as a police officer and as a dad. Except he’s not retired from the dad position. And never will be.
My dad is now going to be able to sleep in and live his life without having the added stress of work. It is pretty inspiring.
I turned 21 on Saturday, and I have to say, I don’t quite think that it is all it’s cracked up to be. I have never really been much of a partier or drinker, but even so, I’m just another year older. And I’m learning that birthdays do not get the same attention that they once did. That’s a part of growing up I suppose.
And then I realized that he is starting another stage of his life, as I am starting mine. They are completely different stages, but they actually have many similarities. We are both starting anew, turning over a new stone and deciding what we really want to do with the rest of our lives.
All I can say is I have had a great example of how to work hard and I cannot wait until I get to the point where I can happily retire.
Job well done, Daddy.