Celebrating Work

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My family all gathered at my aunt’s house on a cold March afternoon. Aunts and uncles who live just around the corner, cousins I hadn’t seen in years, and my brother and his family from two states away milled around waiting for the guest of honor. The Indiana University basketball game was on in the living room; the kitchen counters were loaded with cheesecakes, macaroons, and fruit plates.

We were waiting for my mom to arrive. Though it had been more than a month since her retirement, we were just now celebrating with a surprise party. Several of us sent flowers or cards during her last week of work, so she thought that was the extent of the celebration. But this party had always been in the works, dreamed up by my aunt and cousins.

When most of us arrived, my cousin casually called over to my mom’s house, just a few minutes away, to see if she and my step-dad would like to come over to watch the game and enjoy some dessert. To my mom’s surprise, my step-dad, who was in on the secret, said “yes,” and we all prepared for their imminent arrival.

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Charity Singleton Craig

Charity Singleton Craig is a writer, author, and speaker, helping readers grow in their faith and experience true hope in the middle of life’s joys and sorrows. She is the author of My Year in Words: what I learned from choosing one word a week for one year and coauthor of On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life That Lasts.