Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Big Ed is Definitely Smiling

The word “retire” is a scary word. If you look it up you will find definitions that use such phrases as “to withdraw or go away” and even “to withdraw from business because of age.”

Scary stuff.

I do know that if a person is fortunate he will have several milestones in his life. There is graduation from high school, graduation from college, marriage, children, promotion at work, grandchildren, certain birthdays and anniversaries…. and retirement.

After that the next big milestone is the visitation. The one where people bring fried chicken and tater salad and talk about how natural he looks and what a good guy he was.

Incredibly, my brother retired recently. He withdrew from business because of age. This brother is only two years older than me. Our mama used to dress us alike when we were kids. We fought like cats and dogs as we grew up and became best friends when we became adults.

It’s just hard for me to believe that George Goddard is old enough to retire. Good lord life went by in a hurry.

If I may say so myself, George has accomplished a lot in his life. He has been a registered Pharmacist for about 35 years. He actually worked as a pharmacist for a few of those years but spent most of his career as a pharmaceutical representative. He has a home in an Atlanta suburb and a second home on top of a beautiful mountain in North Carolina. He has money in the bank and used to have money in the stock market. Unlike most of us, he is able to retire. And he earned it.

But George will be quick to tell you his greatest accomplishments have to do with his family. George and Jaye got married about 20 years ago. It was a second marriage for both. George not only became a husband to Jaye but he became a daddy to her five year old son named Mitch the day they got married. When Mitch became of age, he paid George the greatest compliment he could possibly ever pay him when he changed his last name to Goddard. (Mitch is pictured in center with white shirt).

Mitch is about to graduate from the University of Mississippi. He drove six hours this past weekend from Oxford to Atlanta to surprise George and be a part of his retirement party. Mitch took the microphone and in an emotionally charged moment, talked about the impact George has had on his life.

George sent the link to the video below to me after his retirement party with these words:

“This is the song that Mitch was speaking of on Saturday night at my retirement party. For once, I was truly humbled. If I died today, I would feel like my life was worthwhile, but I hope I live a lot longer and I envision myself as the older guy in this video. One day I will be with Mitch when he has a child. Big Ed (our dad) is smiling! I didn't have to read about being a father in a book. I had one hell of an example."

No doubt about it - Big Ed is definitely smiling.

George I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to the retirement party but I promise to make it to the visitation. In the meantime, enjoy your retirement. And I have feeling you will.

The rest of you can click here to see the video.


Judy S said...

George, congratulations on your retirement. I am sure that Mr Ed and Mrs Naia are both smiling and are very proud of all their children.

Anonymous said...

George, congrats on your retirement. Many blessings to you and yours for the new chapter in your life that is about to begin. My husband saw the picture Bruce posted and of course he loved the Ole Miss school flag....he graduated from there back in the dark ages when they had a good football team...of course, I have to give them some credit, they did beat Florida this year.

Carol Williams said...

Congratulations, George. I taught Mitch in second grade and well remember when you and Jaye got married. All of the Clarkdale School faculty were so happy that Jaye and Mitch now had you in their lives. You have been wonderful for both of them. Enjoy your retirement!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Bruce, Thanks for posting this! It was a very emotional night for me and I'll never forget it.
George had a great turn out-many shared stories with me and all said how much he'll be missed at Glaxo. It was a great tribute to him and now he can decide what he wants to do the "rest of his life"!
Love, Jaye