The other door
Yesterday we packed up the office my father ran his business out of for 31 years. I've spent almost every Saturday for the past several years working there, sometimes other days as well, getting involved with every level of the business. When Dad went on vacation, I covered for him. When Dad got sick, I covered for him. When Mom was on vacation or out sick, I brought Dad sandwiches. When Dad was running just a little late in the morning, I would walk over to the bakery and get coffee. Growing up, there would be days where we met Dad at the office after work, did our homework, stood on a stool to help at the register, filed client cards, answered the phone. On a few occasions, I went to the office so I could type up my homework (yes kids, once upon a time, you had to turn in typewritten papers at school, banged out one letter at a time directly onto the paper).
Dad is not retiring just yet; moving out of this office is the first step in reducing the amount of time he spends commuting and working. Tomorrow I'll go back to the office with one of my sisters and we'll do some cleaning and take out the last of the boxes before Dad hands over the keys to the building manager, and that door will close behind us.
I'm waiting for the other door now, the one that proverbially opens as one closes. There may be many doors (at least one of them being not having to get up early on Saturday mornings).