Thursday, August 28, 2014

The last few weeks in This American Life.

Isaiah is running with a coach two to three times per week. His goal is to "run distance."

No rigorous meets or any such thing for him. He is the one who is content to compete against himself. This is just his way and this activity honors that.

On this day, Coach was running late. Instead of waiting in the car, Isaiah got out and started his workout. "It's okay, Mom," he said, "I know what to do."

And he did.

A visit with my patient who has a diagnosis that will abbreviate his life. I cared for him while on the hospital service and had gone up to visit him on this day.

"What can I do for you?" I asked.

"Just hold my hand."

And so I did.

He let me take this picture to remember our connection. I asked if it was okay for me to share it with you and he said, "I want you to."

And so I did.

I sort of want to cry every time I see that photo. And by "sort of" I mean that I do.

This was when Zachary saw me for the first time at the end of one of his last games. He'd made a touchdown and had just pulled his helmet off of his head.

"Did you see it?" he asked me urgently. "Did you see me make a touchdown, mama?"

"Did I? You know it, baby." 

I had just gotten off of rounds at Grady and made it to the game at the start of the second half. Two plays later, Zachary made that touchdown. I am so, so glad that I could say "yes" when he asked me.

And mean it.

One of my favorite residents made me a homemade peach crumble. She asked me if I liked it.

This picture, taken in my office just a few moments after discovering her special delivery, was my response.

And yes, Jen Z., I tried it with ice cream at home, too.

My brother took my nephew, David, to Boston to visit Harvard. He's a scholar athlete and that's one of the schools he's looking at. Dave is an amazing baseball player and was fortunate enough to have the coaches at Harvard invite him up. While there, Will took him to Fenway Park for a Red Sox game. I'm pretty sure that sitting in that stadium next to his dad was one of the best moments of his entire life. Just imagine how my brother felt.


Remember the days when you used to put on dance shows for the grown ups as kids? Man. Me, my sisters and my cousins did this EXACT thing. This was at a cookout a couple of weeks back. Watching these kids brought back major memories.

I think I have a crush on the one in the shades. Talk about a tall drink of. . .uhh. . .  Coca Cola. Ha.

 Wow. It's hard to believe that these three pesky girls from Meharry are now all grown up and leading people. Jada R. and Yolanda W. graduated from med school with me in 1996. We spent many, many, many hours together during our student years and I'm proud to say that we've spent many, many more after. On this day earlier this week we were sitting on a career panel at Morehouse School of Medicine. I felt really proud of us. 

I am glad to call them friends. And my sorority sisters. And, of course, my Ruths.

Our husbands are all friends and fraternity brothers, too which is an added bonus.

This one (Reggie) belongs to Yolanda. And coaches for a rival football club. Friends mostly, but foes on the field.


And a few more friend/rivals:

Ran into my Tuskegee classmates at football certification last week. Danielle D. is my Tuskegee chapter soror. Their son plays on the team one year up from Zachary's . Otherwise I would have been mean mugging in this photo.

Speaking of which. . . .

Here's some random mean mugs from Chris M. and Kyle P. after small group Tuesday. What's funny is that they are the nicest two dudes you could ever meet.

And speaking of nice. . .

Sweet Leilah Z. who is now a bona fide OB/Gyn resident. She was just my medical student last spring and look at her now. She's a special one. I snapped this after running into her in the elevator the other day. It made me so happy to see her.

And speaking of happy to see someone. . . .

These big smiles followed the sublime meeting that had just taken place between this student and me. Shareene L. is a 3rd year student and just a remarkable soul. We'd been trying to meet up for some time and finally did. Our thirty minute meeting lasted well over an hour.

 I'm so lucky to get to do this.

 And this:

Trader Joes on a Sunday. The best.

A regular quote in our house used to break up arguments:

Us: "Hey! What do brothers do?"

Them, in unison: "Stick together."

These images are proof that they get that.

Yes. More mean mugs. Why? Why not?

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

And speaking of afraid. . . .

Zachary demonstrating the Nae Nae dance for me. Ribs sold separately.

And Isaiah just hanging out between his mom's knees like he did when he was very little. I loved it.

Speaking of "loved it". . . . 

Spotted this at back to school night this week in a folder. Who knew?

Not me.

My colleague-friend-fellow Grady doctor Wendy A. was giving a lecture to the medical students last Friday. Her small group sat on the front row and surprised her by wearing these shirts. These are the types of things people want to do for you when you put in time over time.

A very thoughtful gift given to me last year on the one year date after Deanna's passing. A tiny bottle of red glitter, commemorating the last day I saw her alive. That was a very happy day. She and the kids were covered in red glitter working on a project. On the day I took this picture, I was missing Deanna very much. Then I looked and saw this bottle of glitter sitting in a special place in my office. My tears immediately dried up and I felt happy inside. 

I can think of few things more thoughtful, moving, or attentive than this. Lesley M.? Thank you, my friend. You are a true Ruth indeed and this has comforted my soul on many a day.

Lastly, this:

Yes. Sweet dreams are made of this. This right here.

Live. Love. Savor. Repeat.

Life is good.

Happy Thursday-almost-Friday.


  1. I found your blog a while ago and have been hooked on it ever since. The love you have for your husband, your children, your friends and family; the way you describe your interactions with patients and students and your life in general are so inspiring and moving. Look forward to many more. Happy Friday! Lesley

    1. Hi Lesley. I'm so happy that you are here from Tanzania and that you chose to say hello today. Thank you, okay? I mean it. Happy Friday to you, too, my friend.

  2. Everything Lesley said! Your blog always makes me so happy!

  3. Beautiful! I am loving watching your boys grow and be and do and know themselves more and more. And of course your son wants to be a doctor. He's seen your dedication and joy and passion up close. Which of your boys was this btw?

  4. 1. Train up a child in the way they should go. Looks like you and the BHE got that one down.

    2. I sure hope Bostoninans treat people from other races nicer than they do the military, because I can't wait for my son and his family to leave there.

    3. I hope that one of the occasions that you were at Morehouse you got the pleasure of meeting Ronna Nu'Man. She's a PR diva there and she is awesome!

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I've had a lot of friends go up to Boston for college of all races and most had good experiences. My fingers our crossed that it would be the same for my nephew. No, I've never met Ronna but Morehouse is a big place. :)


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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