For over a year, I agonized over the decision to retire from school bus driving. I knew I would have to make that decision sooner or later, but had a hard time with it. It got so bad that I was convinced that there was something wrong with me physically. Several visits to the doctor showed that everything was fine, but still I was constantly exhausted.
On December 6 I made the decision to work no longer than to the end of June. I immediately began feeling less tired. It seemed that the weight was lifting from my shoulders. Christmas came and went and I shared this news with some people, but couldn't make it totally public since I had not handed in my resignation.
Shortly into the new year, January 9 to be exact, I brought my letter of resignation to the school division office. When I walked out of there, it felt like the burden had completely left me.
I started a countdown to my last day of work. It was exciting to see the days and weeks go by. Then on March 16 we were told that schools would be closed for at least three weeks, due to Covid-19. So there went my countdown. All the excitement vanished, with this cloud of the unknown hanging over everyone's head. Before those three weeks were over, it became apparent that schools would not be opening again until September.
(This was my view from the driver's seat while waiting to start my route.)
So technically, I was retired, but in fact I was still an employee of Western School Division until the end of June. So, although I got to spend my time at home, I didn't really feel like I could close the Bus Driver chapter of my life.
As we say good-bye to the month of June, I also
say good-bye to 41 years of being a School Bus driver.
I have looked forward to this day, but in all honesty, I know I will miss the routine, my co-workers and the children. Yes, I will even look back and think of those who routinely stirred up trouble. Perhaps these children needed to cross my path to teach me greater patience. So June 30, 2020 will live on in my memory as the actual day of my retirement.
(The view I saw hundreds of times, when looking into the rear-view mirror,checking on the students.)
Thank-you to Western School Division for giving me employment all these years, but more than that, thank-you for allowing me to walk away with pleasant memories and a host of friends. Friends I would not have met, had I not had this job.
Retirement here I come!
I'm excited to see what God has in store for me from here on.