The Fruits of Her Labor

September 16, 2009 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

At a time when the face of careers are ever changing and the opportunities for work may be diminishing, I salute those whose work ethic has not been compromised. Those that show up everyday ready to give their all, roll up their sleeves and navigate through the work day with pride and perseverance. On this mileSTONE of my mom’s retirement, I salute a precious GEM who is the rarest find and a woman I am privileged to call my mom.

After 60 plus years of defining the true meaning of “work ethic,” my amazing, 80-year-young Mom is retiring from the workforce.  Adele to some, but “mommy” to most, my mom has sold precious gems and worked in the Fine Jewelry department of Macy’s, redefining service altogether while building lasting relationships with customers and fellow employees over the past two decades. Her hysterical sense of humor, vibrant personality and toasty warm affection ooze through her pores within seconds of meeting her. But it is Adele’s compassion for others that draw people to her with magnetic force. On any given visit to Macy’s, whether riding down the escalator, grabbing coffee at the café, or hanging out at the jewelry counter, I am overwhelmed with pride as accolades for my mom overflow from countless peers.

My mom with all of her grandchildren.

My mom with all of her grandchildren.

Filled with pride but not surprise. Because I am the lucky one that grew up as the youngest of four siblings in a family where home was the nucleus of our lives, where love flowed immeasurably and relationships flourished. My parents impeccable work ethic was demonstrated in every aspect of our lives and has granted each of us PhD’s in life lessons. From their tremendous marriage of 55 years, to their devotion as parents and  grandparents of 10, to over 120 combined years of employment, their hard work has played a significant role in developing great character and has payed off in “priceless” ways.

So while today is a momentous celebration, my mom still has very mixed emotions as she gets all dolled up to go to work this evening, her last official day at Macy’s. She may not miss working the past twenty “Black Friday’s” following Thanksgiving or the last twenty Christmas Eve’s. But there is plenty she will miss.  Adele loves getting dressed up, reporting to work on a consistent basis, feeling productive and reliable, giving the ultimate in customer service and socializing with her Macy’s family. She knows it is the end of a long chapter of hard work and commitment.

But my mom also realizes that tomorrow begins a new chapter. One where she has the freedom to decide  how to spend her extra time. Perhaps she’ll go to the beach more often. Perhaps she’ll volunteer. Maybe she’ll take in more double features at the movie theatre. For certain she’ll spend her extra time visiting her grandchildren who are spread out across the country. She will remain active on the social scene with her Macy comrades. And everyone knows my mom loves to shop and will continue to be spotted in the mall frequently. And fortunate for me, my mom plans to accompany me to my book signings and spend even more time together with my family!

So although today marks the occasion of my mom’s retirement, the truth of the matter is that my mom will never stop working. You see, Adele is one of those precious, rare gems that gives meaning to our lives and makes our lives “work.” She can “work” a room, get “worked” up with emotion through her empathy and help others “work” out their problems.  And nobody has “worked” harder to enjoy the fruits of her labor. As one of my mom’s “apples,” I am always inspired to work incredibly hard and “not fall far from the tree.”

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"It is better to improve than it is to prove"
- Jayne Bonilla

Since the road to success is always under construction, this blog is intended to serve as a visceral compass empowering readers/writers to find their own direction along the way.

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