By Shannon Gallagher
Posted Oct 31, 2017 at 6:19 PM Updated Oct 31, 2017 at 7:27 PM
On Tuesday Sheryl Markowicz pulled closed each of the 526 mailbox along her East Bridgewater route for the last time and said, “I’m saying goodbye to each mailbox.”
EAST BRIDGEWATER – When Sheryl Markowicz first began delivering mail in 1984, she did it from the passenger seat of her own vehicle, stretching across to reach the pedals and steer with one hand while her other hand pulled open each mailbox along her route.
“It was very difficult because I’m short, I’m only 5-feet tall,” Markowicz said. “My husband cut a little two-by-four to put on my brake pedal so I could touch it with my toe.”
Now, 31 years later, from her official U.S. Postal Service mail truck, Markowicz pulled closed each of the 526 mailbox along her East Bridgewater route for the last time on Tuesday.
“I’m saying goodbye to each mailbox,” Markowicz said as she navigated her mail route for the final time.
After 31 years, East Bridgewater mail carrier retires from job
Markowicz retired Tuesday from her job as a mail carrier for the town of East Bridgewater after 31 years of service. Her daughter surprised her at the post office with a dozen red roses and colleagues celebrated with a brief gathering in her honor before she headed off to deliver the day’s mail.
“I’ve always wondered what my last day would feel like,” Markowicz said. “It’s been better than I thought… I’m just floating on air.”
Since joining the fleet as a substitute mail carrier in 1984, Markowicz has taken just one sick day.
In her 31 years, there’s been just three days that the residents on Markowicz’s route didn’t receive their mail on time – when all mail carriers were called back to the post office mid-day because severe weather had made their job impossible.
A resident of East Bridgewater herself, Markowicz said she has enjoyed bringing mail to her own community.
“It’s great to be in your own town,” Markowicz said. “I’ve done the whole entire town at one point in my life… It’s a very close-knit community. It really is.”
One of Markowicz’s favorite parts of the job has been taking the time to get to know the residents of East Bridgewater.
“I get to know the people,” Markowicz said. “It’s been a real personal experience, it really has. Because you get to know them, you share your joys, you share your sorrows and I’m going to miss that.”
Markowicz said she’s watched young families grow up over the years and formed lasting relationships with some friends along her route.
“You know what’s really the greatest thing about it,” Markowicz said, “is when I started in 1984, the kids used to come out to the mailbox get the mail from the mail lady. Now I’m the mail lady to their children. So it’s been like a family experience.”
Markowicz said she’s hopeful her time as a mail carrier in town has brought a little joy to the community.
“I hope I brought a little kindness and a little love,” Markowicz said. “I took care of their mail and I took care of it as if it was my own.”
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