Serra KCK and me
I didn't retire until age 80 so my horizon for planning my post-retirement was not a great as some. The biggest decision was to cut off any formal relationship with medicine, not to teach from time to time in a Medical School and to cancel my subscriptions to my medical journals.
That decision was the result of prayer and seeing what other physicians had done post-retirement. Their path was not a path with which I was comfortable. That was the extent of my discernment.
I was on my own to start on a different discernment, a different career.
While I was still in practice my wife Jean was diagnosed with dementia of the Alzheimer type. Also she was quite functional in many ways it fell to me to be more of a "house husband", especially in food shopping and cooking, doing some cleaning and providing more companionship to her, more than I was able to do while active in medicine.
I also had a desire to do more for our Church and now had time to do so. Daily Mass was nearby and I had the opportunity to serve as Eucharistic Minister, Lector and Presider of Communion Services, all of which was fulfilling.
In the course of time I was invited to join the Serra Club of Kansas City in Kansas. I knew little about Serra Clubs, and, while in Houston, the Serra Club there had only a tangential, if any, effect on our son's discernment for the priesthood. So I demurred for several months, then accepted the invitation to attend a Wednesday meeting and with some hesitation agreed to join Serra KCK.
After a month or so I wasn't sure this was the place for me to serve the Church and I was thinking seriously of resigning. As a trustee, a bit at sea, I requested a meeting over coffee with Bob Vohs, then president of the Club. He suggested that I fill a pressing need by helping out with the Nun's Appreciation Day Event.
That involvement was critical to me remaining in the Club and led to other assignments the Newsletter editor;, VP, Communications Committee; President of the Club and eventually the website development and maintenance.
None of these duties has yet detracted from my essential post-retirement responsibilities as caregiver to Jean, the person most important in my life, although that may change with time. I am a better Catholic layman as a result of my association with Serra KCK and I feel that I have, in some small way, contributed to their holy ministry.