I took an early retirement offer a few months ago. At first it was a difficult decision, but then I made a list of all I had left to do. I have so much more music to write, especially musicals, photography projects and products and more. In the coming years I will be writing full-time, continuing my photography work, doing one-man convocations around the state and a whole lot more. Recently I did a final show for the kids and it was fun and sad at the same time. I finished it with a 15 minute slide show of my life, family, career, students and fellow teachers. You can see it on the Charles Moman fan page on Facebook - look up the videos.
On my last Friday before my last 2 classes of the day, I was called by the nursing home where my 86 year old mother was in rehab in hopes of coming home soon. She lives next door to me - I bought the house for her 22 years ago. She was failing and needed to go to the ER and they needed my permission - I have POA and make all medical decisions for her. We ran to the ER and found she had had a major stroke, could not speak, blood pressure dropping, blood count way low and more wrong. They started to speak of a CT scan, transfusions, etc. and I made the decision she asked me to make long ago.
I called everything off and we took her back to the nursing home for comfort care only. She died on Tuesday, around noon with family around her. Tuesday would have been the last teaching day of my 37-year career, but I had already told the classes goodbye. It still was doubly hard.
We had the funeral on Thursday and my oldest brother, Carl sang (doctorate in operatic performance) and preached the sweet sermon. At the cemetery they played "Come to Jesus" by Chris Rice and during the final verse "Fly to Jesus" a white dove was released.
I had 5 of my 6 children able to come home - John Mark is a Marine in Okinawa and they would not let him come home. Today the last of them flies back to California and it will get real quiet here. Mom's empty house next door is a sweet reminder. We will be fine - just about to begin our new "normal". I am happy for Mom because her quality of life had dropped a lot this past year and I was assuming she was in the last year of her life.
A wonderful Mom who raised 7 kids - all college graduates - some with doctorates and most with masters - she was very proud of that. Party with Jesus time for Mom now!
I did not expect this ending to my career, but it is a full circle kind of thing and I am ok with it and on we go . . .