Holding Fast onto my Solitude

My early morning run through the humidity as the sun came up over the Lake was long, darkness into some light and taxed me just a bit. For the first time that I can remember, I felt some shortness of breath as I speeded up the hills. This bit of breathlessness could have been from the heat/humidity or could be my brain paying attention to my low red cell counts. In any event, running does my heart and mind a world of good. I am grateful, serene and feeling energized for the challenges ahead as I still nail my academic schedule for the next couple of weeks.

I have to admit that I have a bit of sadness in that my favorite friend is out of communication with me. It’s his choice as our relationship is totally by his definition. I will always be his greatest supporter and I can’t think badly of him no matter how he feels about me. He is my friend and I would go to the ends of the Earth, tear out my heart or just be present as he needs. His energy and his complexity will always draw me to him but he has great challenges to master. He is a very powerful spirit; daunting to stand in the tall shadow that he casts. He will always be amazing for me and I will never be even 1/10th his standard or good enough for him. I am his as much as I can belong to anyone with my immense flaws. This I always know, accept and remember. I hope that he won’t stay away long but that’s his call. Life is far to short to throw away affirmation for any reason as I have learned so well.

I head into next week without hesitation, confident in the information that I must deliver to my hundreds of students. It’s always great fun for me to watch those who are new to the skills of surgery but my greatest lesson is never to forget that there is a precious human being under one’s care. I have been privileged to be able to practice a craft that I love but I am even more privileged to have the interactions with the patients who have come under my care. This is the great magic of medicine always.

As I continue to live my life in solitude, reflecting on what I have yet to accomplish, I am always grateful for the many affirmations in my life. Last evening, I had the pleasure and trust me, it’s a sheer pleasure, to hear the voice of my brother in medicine and spirituality. As I hear of how he’s living his life, I know I am never wrong about him. He has been a beacon, a life-saver and a true example of all that is good in medicine and life. I hear of some of his struggles/challenges and yet from those challenges come a level of creativity that is astounding. As I read his words, my heart is glad as he can often put words to that which I am feeling. I am truly blessed to have him in my life, my brother, my hero in many ways.



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