At the end of May, after more than a quarter century on the job and after working hard all year doing more with less as people at work left to take new jobs or went out on maternity leave, I was suddenly forced to retire by the impossible demands of, in my opinion, a bullying manager acting as the point man for a group of in-it-for-themselves managers a generation younger. I already had an active age-discrimination complaint going at the time but these people consider themselves to be bullet-proof and, in my opinion, do whatever they want, paying only lip service to rules put in place about retaliation and the like.
On the day after I was precipitously and prematurely forced to retire due to ageism, I bought new running shoes and ran five times a week during the month of June, mostly around Northern Virginia and sometimes in the District, taking on the task of running home from all of the furthest-out Silver Line Metro stops. I also discovered from a neighbor that my youngest son had gotten married a year earlier to some girl named Laura.
In July I kept active by continuing running five times a week, sometimes in the District with friends from my former place of work. I also did some hiking and bicycling on some of the many recreational venues available around the District, like here on the C&O Canal Towpath.
August was a most interesting month. On the eleventh, out of the clear blue sky, I got friended and then unfriended within the hour by my daughter-in-law Laura, and then the next morning I underwent stomach surgery, which put me down harder and longer than I thought it would.
Our lives were about to change.