This is a picture of my parents taken on the night of his retirement party. It just so happened that it was close to their wedding anniversary also....40 years.
My dad was so nervous about this party. The place where he worked rented a hall and really had quite an affair for him. He was embarrassed over being the center of attention.....and yes, they ROASTED him. He got poems and cards and the usual engraved wristwatch. It was very emotional for him....he felt like he was leaving family.
My father started out as a milkman then went to work as a factory worker. This was in addition to running a farm. After he'd been there many years, the factory liquidated and moved to another state. The employees were all told they could have their jobs if they wanted to relocate as well. There was no way my dad could relocate so he took his severance pay and hit the streets looking for a job, along with 90% of the other workers. He was middle-aged at the time and he knew that he would have to be clever and quick in order to secure employment. He found out about a possible job opening at a place that would be absolutely perfect for him. He knew he could do the job and it was only 3 miles from home.
Since he found out 'by rumor' about the possibility of an opening there, no ads were in the paper. My dad got his foot in the door before anyone else. The old guy whose position they were going to fill was leaving; the job was just too much for him anymore. He hadn't given a date so no one knew for sure when the opening would occur. My dad went there every single day. The boss of the place said to him one day that he was going to hire him just to keep him away from his office. They all laughed but it gave my dad a glimmer of hope. Sure enough, when the old guy put in his resignation they hired my dad; they didn't even bother to advertise. They were never sorry they hired him as he was never sorry he got in there. The pay and the benefits were more than twice what he was getting in the factory.
Perseverance......that was the key. My dad always said that if something was worth having, you had to put forth the effort in getting it. Sadly, for the most part, those old values have fallen by the wayside nowadays.
I think of this story often whenever something adverse happens in my life. My mom always said that things happen for a reason....she was a great believer in that. Given the rough childhood she had...it was a good thing she was. So if my dad's place of work hadn't moved, he would never have found this much greater opportunity which gave them so much comfort in their lives. Yes...they had a good life.