Friday, December 05, 2008

December 5

December 5, as most of you probably know, will always have special significance in the Kosior household. It was the day our comfy little lives drastically changed when in 2002, a mere 8 months after our wedding, Michael was canned from the place we not-so-affectionately call Shititas. For more of the gory details, you can read last year's entry--I tend to repeat myself a lot. :-)

This year, the date takes on added significance, as today is Michael's last day at his current agency and on Monday he starts his new job with the Marines. The first thing we both thought of when he got his start date was, "Oh man, your last day is December 5th!"

Yesterday his friends and colleagues held a good-bye luncheon for him at Uno's in Alexandria. And it was an altogether different kind of send off. No taxi cab home and a cold shoulder from there on out. This time was a group of his friends and colleagues gathering to celebrate his successes and wish him well.

The General had asked me to videotape the proceedings, which I did. It was a challenge to keep the camera rolling, as after a while, I was actually crying, I was so moved. Most especially moving was Michael's friend Joe. Joe is totally deaf, but after he moved to a cube near Michael's, the two struck up a friendship by Joe typing into Michael's computer, JAWS reading out the text and Michael typing back, so Joe could read it. So yesterday, Joe got up to say a few words and he said, "One thing I like most about Mike is that he is great at making lemonade. What I mean by that is that whenever I would have a really bad day, and life was handing me a pile of lemons, I would go and see Mike and he would make everything better and then everything turned into lemonade."

I was also impressed to learn from one of the big higher ups that before Michael started on a project, the fail rate was 99% and after he started working on the project, the fail rate dropped to 12%, which is incredible.

Another friend got up and said, "You all may not know this, but Mike is a closet hip hop fan. He will out of the blue send me an email with a bunch of old school lyrics and that really makes my day."

And his direct supervisor said that she has kept every one of his emails and will be enjoying them for a long time to come.

There was a movie out some time ago that had Cuba Gooding Jr. in it as a mentally retarded man who became a manager of the school football team. His aunt or mother or somebody stepped in to the situation and sat down with the coach and said, "I don't want my boy to become the team mascot."

I really identified with that statement. I never wanted Michael to be "The Official Blind Guy of the Federal Government". This is a common fear among spouses and parents of people with disabilities. After yesterday, however, my fears were totally assuaged. Those folks all love my husband for all he is and has done and respect him for the work and expertise he contributed to the agency, and that really warmed my heart.

As a going away present, they got him an official Patriots jersey with a #1 on it and the back was personalized as "The Chief". Now, c'mon people, you know he's eating that up with two spoons. He put it right on at the table. I turned to his buddy Ken and said, "You know he's not taking that off, right?" Ken said, "He's going to sleep with it on." I said, "Sleep? He's going to shower with it on!"

[Note: when I had him pose so I could take a picture of the back of the shirt, I said, "Honey, show me your muscles" and that was the pose he struck. You can add that as item #87 of the things I love about my husband--when he strikes a pose.]

Ken is a fellow New Englander and he and Michael are always going at each other, all in good fun of course. One of the more hilarious moments came when Ken said, "Hey, Mike! I hope you're driving home today! Your wife is here drinking beers and I'm sitting on her lap." And Michael said, "Yeah, right, if she were that drunk, she'd be calling me 'unreliable'!" (referring of course to how unpleasant I get when I drink.)

It was just such a wonderful experience. I had such a nice time and I know he will remember it forever. And we have the videotape for anything we forget.

What's a party without some honeys?

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