I recently wrote in this space about the retirement of a not terribly longtime co-worker of no particular distinction. The story was about her retirement card's inappropriate title of "Retired and Admired". She was not at all admired. And, come to think of it, I'm not sure this whole "Retired" thing is all that accurate either. She worked very part time, is not all that old, and didn't work in the libraries for a particularly long time. The whole episode barely warranted the single post, and yet, here we are again.
I signed her card, despite my reservations about her being admired, when she wasn't, and retired, which scholars continue to debate. I said something like:
"Best wishes in your retirement"
Then I had a momentary curiosity about what my co-workers wrote to her. So I read what they said in the card.
"Have a good retirement"
"Congratulations on your retirement"
"May you have a happy retirement"
"Enjoy being retired!"
"Good luck in your retirement."
"I hope you find much joy in retirement!"
And so on.
It made me sad.
Unmissed, unmarked, unloved.
On the other hand, everyone seemed to agree it was a retirement.