A little while ago I was complaining about how I missed the opportunity to say ‘happy retirement’ to my doctor.
I shared that post in my G+ account and I received a reply that said ‘right the wrong‘.
Cryptic. But I knew exactly what he meant (and I was a few steps ahead already writing a Xmas message for David in a card I bought the day before).
The day after I popped down the old medical practice and dropped the card at reception, who in turn mentioned that they will forward the card to David. Job well done, right? But why was I still feeling empty? Why did I still have no full closure? I felt relieved when I walked out of the medical practice – but closure was not complete. I could have called him, as he left his mobile phone for us to call in case of emergencies, but I did not want to come across as a stalker and thought it would be best to leave it as it is.
24 Dec, Christmas Eve
I almost missed a call going to voice mail and I almost fell to the ground when I heard David’s voice boom on the other end. He called to say that he appreciated the letter and wanted to apologize for not saying goodbye. In fact he was doing the rounds on his old phone book and calling his patients one by one (a big feat considering he has been working for 50 years).
He mentioned that he was sick with something which we really did not get into. Saying goodbye was more important.
Upon hanging up the phone, I sent him this text:
Thank you again for the call David. I had a BIG gap not being able to wish you a happy retirement.
If we were all measured by our impact on others, then you are beyond the charts. You are a class act, an incredibly caring and thoughtful man. I hope that you beat what plagues you and wish you nothing but the very best in retirement.
There will only ever be one David xxxxx!
n.b. yes, that last part was based on this post. I had the post on draft when David called. The glove fit perfectly.
I had mixed feelings after that.
On the one hand, I felt terrible for David. He deserves to go out on a high for being such a great man.
On the other, I have my closure. And he has his (with at least, this patient).
I guess saying goodbye to someone you know and care about was never going to be easy.
But having the opportunity to say goodbye is something I value a lot.