I retired at the end of October ,2004.I had made my decision the previous winter that I didnt want to work another winter ! You see at this scheme,everyone lives in a bungalow and they are quite wide spread ...oh its fine in the summer ,visiting is lovely ,but a different story in the cold and wet ,and if you get a call out in the night it can become a bit much ,especially as you have to work the next day !
It wasnt an easy decision to make ,as you will imagine ,and some of the residents were so upset ,it made me feel quite guilty ....but having made my decision I had to stick by it ....Rebecca (my line manager ) questioned me,was I sure?all the usual stuff ,I explained I was working ,giving my all to the job,and at the end of the day ,I was worn out ,there was nothing left for me I had no energy left for my life,she understood she works full time and has a small boy ,and gets tired ,but she's thirty years younger than I !
And so it became accepted .....Jans leaving .....nearer the time of the big day ,lots of little meetings took place people stopped talking when I came into the room ! I knew they wanted to give me a party so I pretended not to notice...Invitations were sent out to past residents and other managers ,the room which is supposed to hold fifty people,well it snowballed I think they had to speak with Rebecca who said well we cant turn people away ...
The great day arrived ,I was given the day off ,and strict instructions not to go near the office or community lounge until two .o.clock .My daughter Catherine came and acted as go between untill it was time to go .At two o clock I walked up to the hall ,and couldnt believe my eyes ,I had never seen so many residents all together ,even those that didnt go out much ,they all turned out to say goodbye,
People from head office led by our big boss ,other managers ,people including Alan the Rector ,from the village ,and so many dear residents ,it was overwhelming ...of course there were speeches cards ,presents cheques , jewelry one group of residents had clubbed together and put about eighty pounds into a gold basket ,and said it was my pot of gold! and flowers and bouquets ......I didnt cry,when I made my speech,and explained, by knowing them all I had been blessed , but I was close ,and I felt so proud of my Kate when she made a little speech thanking everyone for loving her Mum ....its all on video and I still get all choked up when I watch it.