Remembering My Father
My father, George, died in July of 2003, at age 82. He would have turned 100 years old later this month, on April 25. While he is always on my mind and in my heart, April is a time when his memory is even more present. So, on this April day I’d like to share one of those warm memories.
Every patient wants to feel that they, not just their symptoms, matter
Last week I shared a story about our family doctor, adored by many, who lost his life to COVID. Several readers wrote saying how wonderful it would be if all doctors were like him, so I thought I’d share one more story about a visit to another doctor. In this situation, things got off to a good start, but at some point went awry. What could have been a positive experience turned out to be quite different. It involves my aunt Doris, whom I wrote about a few weeks ago. What makes this story extraordinary to me is just how ordinary it is.
Dr. Boudwin, Taking the Time to Listen
Last week, I mentioned that our family physician, Dr. James Boudwin, passed away last April from COVID. This reference sparked much interest and I appreciate all the feedback. Some asked how he contracted the virus. (Though he exercised caution, he apparently caught it very early on, before we fully understood the mitigation protocols.) But most thought it touching that I referred to him as our beloved family physician and appreciated that I included his photo. I’d like to share a story about him that speaks to the kind of physician he was, a doctor deeply devoted to his patients.
The Pandemic and the Healthcare System: Where do We Go from Here?
Recently, I was invited to write an article about the impact of the pandemic on our healthcare system for a SUNY journal, to be published in the spring. I wrote it just as we were approaching the year anniversary of COVID-19 being declared a pandemic. For a year now, our lives, our conversations, our relationships have been dominated by its all-consuming nature. A year ago, for so many of us, this new virus was a thing somewhere else, wherever that might be, maybe a nursing home in Washington or a confined community in New York. It was very real, yet also very abstract. Scary, for sure, but for the brief period in February and very early March, it was distant from most of us. That period lasted for the metaphorical equivalent of a minute.
Best friend or harshest critic?
Where does inspiration for a story come from?
Inspiration for a book comes in any number of ways. Sometimes from a long-held idea, other times from out of the blue. The idea for the book I’m currently writing came to me from the latter – when we brought my elderly aunt to come to live in our home at the end of her life. It crystallized both the joys and challenges of caring for an elderly loved one and opened the door to hearing similar stories from so many.
It’s never too late to tap into a passion
Since Primal Calling was published, I’m often asked how I came to write a novel. Apparently, it was something few who know me expected. I have always loved to write. But fiction was put on the back burner, partly because it was rough to find the time, but mostly because being a “novelist” felt outside of my own expectations. But doing it has been eye-opening. I had to research some subjects I was unfamiliar with. I learned a lot about oil exploration, searching for lost or unknown relatives, and international espionage (I know – sounds like totally different subjects, but they come together in the book). But of even greater value is what I learned about myself and life’s possibilities.