When I was barely 16 I was given a job at a medical office. I helped with the phones, filed charts and did odd jobs. Slowly, over several years, I worked my way up the ladder and ended up being one of the core members of the practice, working alongside the manager. That job set me on the path that led to my current career.
The doctor who owned the practice and hired me, has died. It’s very sad. He was a wonderful man, excellent physician and a tremendous mentor. He was strict and demanded a lot, but took very good care of of his employees and his patients loved him.
I remember him always saying, “If you were my daughter I’d tell you to_________” and then provide his pearls of wisdom. While employed there I was diagnosed and treated for cancer and he continued to pay me and contribute to my retirement, even when I couldn’t go to work. He retired and closed the practice in 2010 and we lost touch although, I would hear of him periodically, so knew his health was gradually deteriorating.
His wake was tonight and I attended. His family is lovely. His wife made a point to seek me out to speak with me. She said he always spoke of me fondly. I was very touched and struggled to control my tears. She was a pillar of strength. She explained he lived a very long and adventurous life, was a wonderful husband, a loving father and left with no regrets, and that knowledge provided her comfort. I spoke of the important role he had in my life and how I will be forever grateful.
There are people you meet who leave a piece of themselves within you. He was one of those people. Life passes quickly. I feel lucky to have shared a part of it with him.