This is the communication I sent today to my work colleagues. Today is my last day of work before retirement. I hope you find reading it is easier than it was for me to write it:
Well, today is my last day working… day number 10,000 in my work career. In some ways, I never thought this day would ever come. In other ways, it came just too darn fast! Either way, it is bitter sweet. As the retiree in the TV commercial says, “I’m leaving the best job I ever had to do the only job I ever wanted.” The commercial shows him going fishing and playing with his grandchildren and holding the hand of his wife as they walk down a country lane. I hate leaving and love it at the same time.
When I look back over these 40 years in the workplace – and, especially the best 10 years of it… my time with you at Mallinckrodt – I just hope I did enough. I hope I made a difference for many of you. I hope I didn’t let you or the company down. But, all-in-all, I did my best and walk away with few regrets. Yes, there are some things I would change, but you can’t linger on the past. We just have to keep moving forward.
I need to tell you as individuals and as a group what you mean to me. My heart is full today. It has taken me several times trying to write this because I get emotional thinking of you and how you have touched my life. No man has ever been blessed more by work colleagues than me. You make it really hard for me to leave. Thank you for your kindnesses, your support, your friendship, and your love. We have had a great chapter together. Probably over half of you have worked directly with me or for me… some 3 or more times. So, those of you that know me best… that know my heart… have a sense of what I am experiencing today. As Winnie-the-Pooh said, “Some people care too much; I think it’s called love.”
I also want to say that if I have ever offended or hurt any of you, I apologize. I would do anything to help you and would never intentionally harm any of you. And, if there has been anything positive from my life, it is not me, but Jesus Christ in me. I have lived in a way that I try to reflect Him and His love for me. Jesus has made all the difference in my life and I am capable of nothing good except through Him. If you want to know more about this, you can read this link from The Porch (https://eldonhenson.com/2016/06/16/what-is-your-hope/).
So, as this chapter closes, I want to say it just one more time, “Today could be our best day yet.” Yes, I know that this seems impossible, but there will likely be a time in the future – maybe next week, maybe 10 years from now – when we look back and say that that day back in December 2016 was, possibly, our best day yet. We might say it because there were a few days that month that we were all here together, working to improve the lives of our patients, and doing our best to make a good company, great. We might say it because we all still had each other. We might say it because we knew that we could just walk down the hall to say hello. Or, we might say it just because it was true. Please don’t miss the good that life can offer. Please don’t ever miss a chance to tell someone – yes, even a coworker – what they mean to you… possibly that you even have grown to love them. We are promised only today, so let’s not miss it.
I do hope and look forward to staying in touch with you. And, I hope to see many of you with some regularity. I will drive back into town for food, you know. But, I know how this works… despite our best efforts to stay in touch, time is not on that side of the equation. So, let’s just keep those positive memories of those “good old days” back at Mallinckrodt. My life is better and more complete because of you. Thanks for making it so.
So… “Today could be our best day yet! There is still that chance.” Please, never forget it.