I had the occasion yesterday to attend a Christmas party at my old company. (Yes I was invited) Well, it’s not my old company it is the company from which I retired, and it was nice to return. I remember when we threw a Christmas party, and some of the retirees would show up. I wondered at the time why they came. I thought when I saw them at the event, once retired who would want to return to the thousand points of pain ever again? At the time, I couldn’t imagine being in the same position yet here I was accepting an invitation to attend a Christmas party. The party was at the same company in which I had invested, sweat, nerves, and what I thought was sure to be years off my life.
Driving the two and one-half hours to San Antonio, (A crazy stunt in itself) I figured it out. I wanted to see the lovely people who were still there. It was those people who made the workday bearable and in some cases fun. In spite of the deadlines and boss craziness, these folks managed to keep a bright outlook and positive attitude. They were the ones to give a cheery “good morning” and take the time to ask how things were going. They were also the ones who could tell you had spent an all-nighter or were on the cusp of going postal. They seemed to know that your trials were in some ways also their trials since we all worked for the same company. A quick story or joke would lift some of the tension and make the day go better. They were the ones who brought donuts of breakfast tacos and the ones who were first in line to donate to remember a lost family member.
It came to me that those retirees of the past attended the party to touch briefly those who had shown kindness and charity when they needed it most. It could be they needed it then as well, and I hope each received what they were seeking. Me? I wanted to thank some of the folks for being so darned nice. I did just that and came away with the feeling that I would like to attend another one again sometime.