Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mrs. Garowski and mom

March, 2002

Mrs. Garowski is dying, and based on what I saw when I visited her at home today I expect it will occur fairly soon (weeks). It was only a few weeks ago that she was in the office and we talked about hospice; the most recent tests had revealed a progression of her disease in spite of the chemotherapy and we both agreed that further treatment would be futile. She and her husband were ready for hospice care, but she asked, almost pleadingly, would I still be seeing her, and of course I said I would, and I did, this afternoon. The change in her condition was dramatic and I promised I would be back soon.

Driving home my heart was heavy, mourning not only for her, but for what I was giving up...the opportunity (and the privilege) to serve Mrs. Garowski, and others like her. I feel I have the gift to do this work, but with equal certainty feel it is time for me to move on to other work, and this makes me sad. It also makes me determined to apply myself fully and honestly to the work ahead.

Seeing this elegant lady on her deathbed also reminded me of mom, and her last weeks and days with us. And I realize once again how, even in her death, she gave to me. My mother taught me about dying as no one else could have, and as a result of that, I I have been able to give more to my patients. May God shine brightly on mom and Mrs. Garowski and may my new work be worthy of both of them.


Linda said...

I'm also in the medical field, and work with many patients like your Mrs. Garowski. I know that deciding to leave the field must have been difficult -- I'm sure you'll find you've done the right thing! You are a wonderful artist. When, or if, the time comes that you are called back into medicine, I'm sure you'll hear the call. :-)

Nancy Standlee said...

Beautifully written and how fitting that you also produce beautiful art.