RETIREMENT — Welcome, Barb

Mrs. Barb Naymik
Circa 1990 — St. Mary’s School Secretary

Another turning point a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist directs you where to go
So make the best of this test and don’t ask why
“Good Riddance” by Green Day

I am dedicating this verse from Green Day’s “Good Riddance” to my mom.

You see, this week marks the final week she will be spending in the “work force.”

As of Wed., Oct. 31, she will no longer have to set her alarm to get up (on Thursday).

She will no longer have to rush out the door. She can, as she likes to put it, “lounge” around.

If she doesn’t want to put make-up on or do her hair, she won’t.

Come Nov. 1, 2012, she will be joining thousands of others across this country in … RETIREMENT.

Since she was 16 years old, she has worked Monday thru Friday.

She has worked for the Lorain County Court House; Bowling Green State University; Community Action; Dinner Bell; and finally, for the past 26.5 years, she saw countless faces of school children as the secretary of St. Mary’s Catholic School (now combined with another Catholic school in Defiance, Ohio, called Holy Cross.).

And in her tenure as a school secretary, she has literally seen and heard it all.

But, this isn’t what my blog is about today.

Rather, it’s about my mom.

Ever since I can remember, she has been helping others in some-sort of capacity as a secretary.

She has calmed down nervous parents; taken care of sick children; bandaged scrapped knees; typed thousands of newsletters and other documents; stood by the printer for hundreds of hours; and of course, answering the telephone in a cheerful voice.

“St. Mary’s Catholic School, Barb speaking …”

“Holy Cross Catholic School, this is Barb, how can I help you …”

Despite what may have been going on in her personal life (say, like a mouthy teenager at home), I never heard or saw my mom take it out on others (perhaps my dad will disagree?).

Before my parents were married, she lived with her parents in Lorain, Ohio where she had to pay “room and board.” It wasn’t much, but my grandparents taught her an important life lesson. Not everything is handed to you for free. You have to work hard. In fact, the money she earned from her first job after high school, before my dad proposed, was put into a savings account that she later put toward their first bedroom set.

My brother and I are products of babysitters. And there were several. Some were good, some were not so good, but we survived it all. My dad was a teacher and always had to be at school by 7:15 a.m., which meant it was up to my mom to get my brother and me ready for the sitters before she went to work. (The plus side was seeing our parents during the summer, minus the sitters.)

Then, when I was 8 years old, she was hired as the school secretary. I was happy because I no longer had to ride the bus to and from school – I lived with my transportation.

But more than that, I saw how hard she worked each and every day to make sure my brother and I had a decent life. We weren’t rich in cash, but rich in what we learned from our parents – hard work, a strong worth ethic and determination can take a person far in their lives.

I am not sure what she is going to do in her “new life.” She tells her friends and co-workers that she just wants to spend more time with her grandchildren and children (my brother is a teacher in Florida).

Basically, she wants to enjoy life – wake up when she feels “fresh;” read books late into the night; visit her mom in Lorain more often; visit her sister in Elyria more often; and spend time with her family.

For the past 26.5 years, she has been a member of the Catholic School family and anyone who has ever had to associate with my mom, I am certain they agree that her replacement has big shoes to fill.

I am just happy that I was able to “share” my mom with Catholic community of Defiance, Ohio.

1 thought on “RETIREMENT — Welcome, Barb”

  1. Barb
    No words can describe how much I will miss you. Many fond memories. And almost as many funny ones. Be blessed!
    Sr Lynda

Comments are closed.