Recently I had the absolute pleasure of taking care of a patient who was in for a procedure. She had the face and body of a 70 year old and I was completely blown away when she told me she was going to be 91 next month! (Her beauty secret is Oil of Olay, by the way). During the course of our conversation, she told me she had taken her 17-year-old car in for its yearly inspection and was very worried about getting a rejection sticker. The inspector suggested to her she should warm it up a bit first. (Shouldn't he have just handed her a sticker on the house for God's sake?). Anyway, she finished the story by telling me she said a billion prayers, headed onto Route 128 and (her quote), “gunned it for 10 miles, wheeled around back and passed with flying colors.” She was so thrilled she gave the guy a buck for the suggestion! I just love some of these patients!
This got me thinking about what motivates me to keep up with this silly idea of torturing myself doing this race (considering my birthday didn't kill me). I have to honestly say it's people like my little patient yesterday who fight the daily battles of life's chores and bad breaks with humor and class. I think of what my patient goes through on a daily basis (lives by herself, comes into the Hospital alone, volunteers in her town to keep in touch with people) and my efforts in living life pale in comparison to hers. I have a wonderful colleague who is currently undergoing chemo and has had to take a leave of absence. He is handling his illness with dignity and a quiet strength that I know I'd never have. My youngest daughter, Mary, saw a little boy on the front page of the Globe today crying over his cousin's casket and I told her he had died in the war… there are so many stories out there of brave people running their own private marathons – they make my race look easy. I salute and admire them all!