Tonight on the way home from work I called my Dad.
I think of him so often these days.
As a child everyone always said I looked like my Dad.
They were right.
Through the years it has become more and more apparent
I am my father's daughter.
And in the words of Baby Girl,
I am proud of it!
Since I changed jobs last June and now work in a clinic setting,
it has brought me face to face with my Dad's world.
Day after day, numerous things take me back to the days growing up in his office.
My Dad is a Family Practice Physician.
He is 76 years young and still practicing!
He loves his work and the people that fill his life.
He knows everybody!
They mean more to him than a simple doctor patient relationship.
( My dad is the handsome young man on the front row, right end,
not surprisingly beside the pretty lady doc! )
Nothing delights him more than a well planned prank or a well-timed joke.
Yet, he is passionate and intense about justice, excellence, history, and politics.
That explains a lot. My dad is also a loyal soul.
It is his love, devotion, and his respect for the individual and the family that fuels my passion as well. My whole life I have watched as he has cared tirelessly for his community.
To say I admire him is an understatement.
When I was a baby my Dad moved his family to a small rural town and opened his office.
Monday through Saturday he worked in the office...Sunday if needed.
Wednesday afternoons he went golfing or hunting...
if he got off work in time.
Each day after seeing the last patients in the office,
he would go check on his patients in the hospital.
After seeing these patients and charting (goodness knows he has my sympathy now),
he would make house calls....
No, this is not a typo...HOUSE CALLS!
Then he would get up the next day and do it all again...for years on end.
In his spare time he has raised two families.
Suffice it to say, we have shared our dad with our small hometown...
Sometimes this was not always easy; but I sensed then what I know now,
it was the right thing to do.
( Dad is seated and I am standing behind him.)
It would seem as if this work schedule was grueling enough. However, apparently Dad found enough spare time the first twenty years in private practice to deliver babies in his office and at the hospital! We still chuckle when he recalls how my baby sister proudly informed a nurse at the hospital, "My daddy made that baby." Hmmm.... did he now?
He is proud to say he never lost a mom and only one infant was lost to a congenital heart malformation. As a labor and delivery nurse, this record in and of itself, is amazing.
His small office in the back of the clinic was filled with models of feet, eyes, and hands.
You could take these models apart and see the muscles, veins, and bones inside.
It was wicked cool!
The walls were lined with his diplomas and medical texts. You could open the texts and see the most interesting, incredible and sad pictures of all kinds of disease processes,
again, wicked cool!
To this day a room filled with books , yes, even text books, thrills me.
I love a book lined wall and I love the smell of books .
I feel at home, comforted, and energized by these printed friends....
and learned probably more than I ever realized. Oh, how true, "more is caught than taught." I learned to file charts and look under slides; 3 cc syringes (without the needles, of course,) were my play things. Who could ever forget the drawer in the bottom of the refrigerator filled with Safety Pop Suckers. Yum! As we got older, we made creepy crawlers to give out to the kids who had to get shots.
When we got to eat together as a family,
we were regaled with stories of his youthful, boyish pranks.
Stories about medical school, the psychiatric wards, and surgeries;
nothing was off limits at the table as long as there was a good story in it!
Oh, my Dad can tell a good story!
However, names of patients were never spoken in our house.
What went to Dr. Bland's Office stayed at Doctor Bland's Office.
His patient's often simply call him Doc.
This humble clinic in this small town is where I learned the most important lessons in life...
Lessons about dignity, respect, family and hard work.
Tonight, when I called dad we had an awesome conversation.
He was still in the office working.
I filled him in on my new job and he said,
"You love going to work everyday don't you?"
Yes, yes I do...
He knew I loved going to work everyday because he loves going to work everyday!
Yes, I am my father's daughter.
And I'm proud of it!
Thank you, Dad, for everything.
I love you,