While roughhousing with my Daddy one day, he flung me into our stone fireplace headfirst, leaving a gash in my forehead that sent me to the hospital for stitches. I was 4. It wasn't the first time my dear old Pa rang my bell. As a toddler, he tossed me into a door jam while walking through the house, throwing me in the air as he went. In later years, Dad pushed me down the advanced trail at Snow Bunny, a tubing center near Mt. Hood, resulting in what would today be called a concussion. Soon after, he carried me along on a deep sea fishing trip that left me vomiting over the side, and collapsed in the cabin, for the entirety of the outing.
Good thing he's a doctor.
No fuss, no muss.
Most don't have it so easy. These days, the health care industry seems to delight in fostering an unpleasant-at-best atmosphere of misery for "regular patients". Endless forms, little or no bedside manner from anyone, and a culture of "the more tests the better" are just a few reasons I don't visit the doctor unless I'm bleeding from my eyeballs or paralyzed from the neck down. Not everyone is like that, however. Some folks love their doctor and might even have more than one. Even my father has his own doctor.
Hard to fathom that doctors need doctors too. Despite their profession, however, they aren't immune to illness and injury. They can even succumb to illness before their time.
The day after Dad texted me to let me know of the situation, he was already making plans to take over Dr. Smith's patient's in 3 days time. This is after being semi-retired and serving the community as a physician in the local Open Door clinic which handles the medical concerns of the area's needy and indigent population. It's also after 55 years of full-time doctoring, raising and educating twin daughters- along with my mother of course- and making a home and life with my Mom for more than 50 years.
At 78, when most folks are living an easy life of retirement, my dad is going back to the trenches to ease the suffering of Dr. Smith's practice, Dr. Smith's wife, and of course, Dr. Smith's patients. If pressed, he would deny riding in on a white charger to save the day. He'd shrug, stammer some inane response, and turn away.
I didn't get my gift of words from Dr. John Emery. What I did get was a sense of duty, a work ethic, and an old-timey ability to push my feelings and emotions into a quiet room to be dealt with at a more convenient time. My father and those like him don't fall to pieces when the monster under the bed appears in the room. He stands his ground and does what needs doing.
No fuss, no muss.
Here's to you, Dr. John Emery. It's an honor to be your daughter.
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