Because my sister Kathy (a middle child) retired mid-week, mid-semester, mid-pandemic, she might have slipped away unnoticed from the job she loved.
But, her team of coworkers, friends and family weren’t about to let that happen. On Wednesday, we all gathered for a surprise retirement parade past her house on a perfect May afternoon, made even more beautiful by an overwhelming outpouring of love and support.
As I have mentioned before, Kathy retired for health reasons due to the stage 4 breast cancer she’s been battling for the past four years. While she is excited about this new phase in her life and the cool volunteering opportunities she plans to pursue, she left her 29-year teaching career (mostly at Menomonee Falls High School) reluctantly and only because her medical team advised her to do so.
So it felt really good for all of us to see her school district come out in force to say their goodbyes. More than 50 cars carrying custodians, secretaries, educational assistants, teachers, coaches, administrators and a superintendent on his motorcycle all showed up to honor Kathy. In addition, friends (at least one from her days as a Xavier high school student), family members (in-laws and outlaws), and her gloved and masked up mother (who has been an extra vigilant germaphobe in the wake of COVID-19) joined the parade.
I took a ridiculous amount of photos and, though I’ve narrowed them down considerably, I am still adding a bunch to this post because the pictures speak far more eloquently than I.
Thank you very much once again to the Menomonee Falls School District and especially Director of Quality and Analytics (and Kathy’s doubles partner) Suzy Thomas, who helped organize the whole thing, and to everyone else who showed up to honor Kathy.