side kicks

 

My friend Britt is retiring today. He’s also turning 65. The other day he turned in his truck, his keys and his cell phone. He’s been training the “younger” guys, so he feels confident he is leaving his workplace in pretty good hands.

What a strange thing this retirement is. I’m sure there is a sense of loss identity. There is probably a great unknown of what to do now. It’s not like Britt doesn’t have a lot on his plate. He likes to surf as often as he can. He and his wife go camping – usually to places he can surf. And he also has two beautiful daughters he takes care of in a way only a father can.

But how strange is it that he and we are all at this point in our lives? Where did those years go?

Britt is actually my husband’s friend. They’ve known each other since high school. He was just one of a group of guys who I took on when I married Charlie. Britt danced with me at my wedding and just recently he danced with me at my 60th birthday party. I know that we must have shared many other dances in-between those years.

Britt has been coming in and out of my life for 40 years now.  I got to know him much better once our children were grown, but until then he was that guy who was interesting and quiet and cute. I watched his eyes light up at the birth of each of daughters. He went to dance recitals and soccer games (or some other girly activity). Since I had boys, our paths didn’t cross as often but Britt was always there for Charlie. And for that reason alone, he is my best friend too.

We’ve had some great adventures together – boating, camping, eating, drinking, hanging out with all of our dogs, concerts, lakes, beaches. Soo many good times to cherish.

But with those good times, there were some bad ones too. Ones we share right along with him. Britt was diagnosed with melanoma a couple of years ago– a killer of a cancer. All of us had our throat drop to our stomach with that information. I know there were many sleepless nights in his house. After a couple of surgeries, he was enrolled in a clinical trial for a new drug. It wasn’t easy – the drive, the after affects, the waiting. Today, hallelujah! he is cancer free but it’s a disease that just always sticks in the back of your brain.

boat

boat (Photo credit: pupski)

I guess retirement is in all of our futures. Our dad’s did it and now our friends are all doing it. Retirement isn’t what it used to be though. We don’t get a gold watch and retire to a condo in a 55 and older community. Britt will stay busy – whether it’s surfing, camping, looking after his daughters or just being a sidekick for Charlie, because there is one thing about Britt you can’t deny -that guy is ready for anything, and retirement (and turning 65) is just one of those things.

I love you Britt. Happy Birthday and Happy Retirement.

Now let’s go boating!

 

 

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