Thursday, December 17, 2009
Congratulations mom, on 33 years at Concordia College!
My mother has been saying she'll retire, "next" year, for the last 10 years, from Concordia College. At 74, she shows little sign of ever slowing down. Her latest position at the college has been as the supervisor of the Meals on Wheels program. She personally packages over 200 hot meals every day for anyone signed up with the program and makes extra frozen meals that get delivered on Friday for the weekends.
Her management team could not have done a better job in putting together the reception and the program. Understanding my mother's wit and humor, they strung together funny moments chronicling my mother's 33 years at the college. In that time she "trained in" over 16 of her own supervisors. Although, the personnel coordinator admitted, he wasn't sure if it just took two years for mom to proffer all of her wisdom, or two years was the maximum anyone could put up with my mother! Obviously, they understood my mother well.
I loved that they remembered to include something about my mother's friendship with Dr. Prausnitz. My former roommate could attest to his ability to reduce students to tears over poorly written composition papers, and yet somehow my mother found his softer side. He eventually came to call her "pennikins" and while others merely saw a gruff and reclusive professor, she saw past this to his warmth and tender side. On his death bed, there were but three visitors allowed in his room at the hospital. Dr. Lell, Dr. Lell's wife, and Pennikins.
The room at my mother's reception was packed. As a true testament to my mother's ability to befriend anyone who comes in contact with her, the event was filled with both the former and current presidents of the college, her coworkers, managers, several professors, many students and lots of our family. When one of mother's managers quizzed my mother about how she had managed the unheard of precedence- to have both a former and current president of the college in the same room together, my mother smiled and said, "simple, I have always just thought of them and talked to them as my friends."
It seemed that everyone had a story to share about some way that my mom had touched their life. Whether it was with a treat from her stash of chocolate hidden away in a drawer, or a hug, or smile when it was needed, its obvious she provided more than just her job skill at the dining service. As I walked with her down the stairs into the basement of the work area, her final salute of the day was perhaps the most fitting. Several of her workers lined up and one by one they fired off rubber bands at her. Its obvious to me that my mother was herself at work... and they all loved and admired her as much as we do.
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