It is true that all things, even good things, come to an end. There is no forever perfection in anything that is alive, as it changes, we cannot stop change.
While it is difficult to endure, it is not difficult to understand. We just don’t want to be involved in it, if we can help it.
At this point in my life I have endured a lot of change. Maybe I have endured more than most, maybe less. There is no giant grid of who does change well or often, that I know of, at least.
Some of my favorite things ended when I never thought they would. I never thought that I would stop singing. I never thought I would paint less, I never thought that I would be, well, you understand. I sometimes just never thought. There were constants in my life that I came to understand. I have a back problems, I have an adventurous spirit. I tire easily, but didn’t use to. I like art, people like to hear me speak. I used to be active in trying to create change, the very thing that so many people are afraid of. I work from the small corner of a little room on that kind of thing now. I work with people, one on one, to help them see.
My world grew from regular to unusual, to large and expanding to small, comfortable, almost stress - less, to puppies and birds.
I know many in power, yet they will most likely not remember me well.
It does not matter, because what I am, what I have become, what I have changed into has been a pure evolution of spirit. It is one of being a force for change and one of being the light for those who seek it.
I am the encourager, the bender, the being that does not stand in the view, but can on occasion become the view itself.
I am a mother.
Whatever that means to all of you, it means more to me and those who love me than can probably be imagined, except by all in a similar position.
Aside from that I see change always. Sometimes, even I, the driver of change does not welcome it. I do not embrace it. I fear it, I run and hide and cry from it.
How is that possible? Well, even though I know I cannot stop it, it comes and with all its fury sometimes forces me to adjust, to act, to recover, to analyze to be; to understand it, to accept it, to buffalo my way through it if necessary. It has become necessary, again necessary.
A doctor who I have known more than half my life will magically leave it. He is retiring. He has been something of an old fashioned healer. Not a lot of drugs and stuff, but manipulation, patience, wisdom, teaching, vision and humanity.
That kind of doctor is hard to come by those these days. Today it is about the latest pill, the latest cure, the latest drug company pushing their agenda. You are bombarded by it on the media; you cannot escape the commercialization of medicine.
I was able to avoid it for most of my life. Every time I tried to go modern, find a physician near me, work with someone new, give them a fighting chance, I was driven by some force back to the man who knew me and I trusted. I tried. Toward the end, it was difficult. As I aged, he did too.
Unfair. I drove two hours to see him in all kinds of traffic and weather for 17 years because it was the right thing to still do.
When I was very young, I remember going to see him. I remember when he raised his fees to $14.00 a visit. (You know when bread was a quarter.) He was a caring country style kind of doctor for half a century. When you were a kid I am sure that someone like him might have been around. Slowly the idea of practicing medicine took a real curve in the road and now many physicians are no longer this kind of healer. The downfall of the insurance industry, where profit over ruled physicians, and the commercialization of medicine like a business rather than a healing art, forced physicians in a way to participate to pay their insurance premiums and for many, catapulted care far away from the Hippocratic oath.
So change has come to me again. I cannot stop it, nor in this case would it be right to. I will be down one less person who has understood me. One less person who can help me when I ask for it, one less person who provided part of the framework of my life.
I have gained from this man, I have truly benefited from his attitude, his caring and his understanding. I have shared with him and he has shared with me. There is no use denying that the relationship worked because of who we both were. Over time people evolve, but sometimes, they stay the same to each other.
If I had to do it all over again, I would not have changed much, I always knew he was one in a million. I don’t have to say much about his politics, suffice to say, we were on the same page on some of the most important issues of our time.
While I am sure he was impatient with me, as many were and are, I think he respected me, perhaps at the least how I raised my children and what they have so far become. He was a man for whom children were important. He raised three fine doctors too.
All of this would not be fair, if I did not mention his wife. They were married after high school and have been on this journey together. She was and is a great compliment to him and his career. In these last decades she was an integral part of the business end of things, which by all measures has not been an easy task.
I am grateful that he will have time to do the things he would like to do, to stretch and breathe, with no demands upon his time, except for those self imposed. I cannot imagine being without the safety net of his care, but I am going to have to move on, just as many others will have to do. I am not the only patient.
I have to understand that he is not the only doctor. That will be the difficult part. I think for many, he was the only doctor for them.
“I have been thinking for a long time what I wanted to say and think about the retirement. I have known you all so long, since I was a child. You have been through so many things with me and my family, at almost 57, life is full of changes. I know how difficult this must be and also how amazing it is to have your own time.
There are so many things that stand out. One is every single time I would go to Europe; I would worry in a small way because if my back went out badly, I would not have Richard to help me out of the pain. Fortunately in all those travels, nothing like that ever happened. I considered Richard invincible, an authority in his field and someone who, though I would try, I could never find anyone who measured up. That is why even after all these years; we found a way to see him for anything that really mattered to us. As you know, through the death of my father, and all those other momentous occasions in life, Richard was very often there. That is the true physician, the one who knows and understands so much. Our daughter attending FSC on the McClurg academic scholarship was not a coincidence either. Knowing your ideas about the school and visiting it, helped her make an important life decision, one that continues to bear fruit.”
Copyright 2012 by SheilaTGTG55