Saturday, February 27, 2010

I Am My Father's Daughter...

 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! )

Dad has an awesome sense of humor.
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....

 There in his office, in this clinic, is where I watched
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.
Happy Birthday!
I love you,

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shooting Stars...

April, White Kitty, died today.
She was a lanky, stray, semi cross eyed cat that adopted us almost two years ago.
She literally threw herself at our feet,
meowing and purring at a used car lot.
When I put her in the car my son said,
"Dad is going to kill you."
Where upon I responded,
"I can't leave her here to die..."
"Well I could..." 
he responded.
"You could," I questioned?
By now she is between the seats rubbing against us and purring even louder.
"Well... maybe not..."
And that was that.

After we brought her home,
 we took her to the vet only to discover that this ugly, lanky, semi cross eyed cat had feline leukemia.
The vet cautioned us to put her down but I couldn't...
not right then.
She was so vibrant, so unique, so personable, so loving and yet so ethereal.
So we brought the cat who would most likely die home to be loved till the end.
That was two years ago, the year after Mom died.
 Something about this cat who seemed to adore me in particular was comforting,
very comforting.
My mother loved cats, 
and they loved her.
It was as if it was a little heavenly gift was sent to comfort me in a way I could not comfort myself.

White kitty never forgot where she came from.
She was my stalker kitty.
If I was out in the yard, she was right there with me.
Always, always purring.
Always, always in your lap or lazily lounging beside you.
So just as April comforted and supported me,
today we comforted and supported her.
She was like a brief, but beautiful shooting star.
A totally unexpected little bit of fluff that loved, trusted and brought joy to my life.
I will miss her.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hello, Old Friend...

Yes we are [friends] and I do like to pass the day with you in serious and inconsequential chatter.  I wouldn't mind washing up beside you, dusting beside you, reading the back half of the paper while you read the front.  We are friends and I would miss you, do miss you and think of you very often.  I don't want to lose this happy space where I have found someone who is smart and easy and doesn't bother to check her diary when we arrange to meet.  ~Jeanette Winterson

 Hello, old friend,
so much to say.

I'm sorry I have been away.
Blogging was so much easier when I was anonymous!
Once I connected to Facebook,
I slowly became self conscious,
shy, mortified...

   OK, OK, 
Now all those who know me in the real world stop laughing.
I mean it!

This blog was never about gaining an audience.
It was never about talent.

I, humorously enough, stumbled into blogging
while trying to escape algebra and statistics one day.
It began as a way of talking out loud to myself
to no one in particular...
something I seem to do remarkably well.

Then the avalanche occurred...
The computer died,
school snowballed with exams,
New Years...
One day I noticed I didn't want to post what I had written.
It was silly and trite.
Insecurity swelled.

Nothing I said was of any consequence
and yet people were reading and commenting.
At first, there was no pressure.
Again, I couldn't bring myself to post what I had written!?
I sounded selfish and small.
On and on the battle raged within me with an ever growing list of why not to publish again.

School resumed and oddly enough I am in a nursing technology class.
Wiki's, blogs, Web I decided to revisit my old friend,
keeper of my secrets, devoted listener to all my woes and whining.
Now where can you find a friend like that?
I reread and relived my blog.
It will be a year old in March.
The memories and stories are there.
They are mine
recorded for all
no one to see
and that's OK.
The joys and sorrows,
 thoughts, pictures,
  poetry (bad but none the less mine).
It's all there.
It has become a part of me.

So keyboard ready,
I resume the chatter.

For those who follow,
I appreciate you and I'm sorry.
Welcome back to Mops and Pops Place.
A blog about a middle aged woman finding her way amid
life's ordinary, everyday drama,
all the while hammering out the details on a keyboard.
Anyone is welcome to hitch a ride and tag a long.
I will continue to
throw my thoughts into the wild blue yonder...
like seeds...
for no reason at all!

 No agenda.
No scheme.
No grand plan to rule the world...

What more could an old lady ask for...

 Sorry, I digress...
I won't write that list...
not just yet anyway....

It snowed!