He was only 6 when she passed away. That said, I'm thankful for that part because memories are less fuzzy when they happen at this age and beyond. In his mind's eyes, she isn't some amorphous, fantastical legend. Deanna was a life force in his own and one that he remembers for himself.
I took this photo yesterday evening upon Zachary's request. He'd just brought home a form for a fundraiser his school is doing for the American Heart Association. Diligently, he filled out the donation form and asked me to help him create a page. He even had me take a video of him to send to family--an unrehearsed quick take in his own words to help with his efforts.
"I want to raise money to help people with heart problems," he said. "And I want to do it for my Auntie Deanna."
He didn't sound morose or somber when he said that, either. Instead there was a glimmer in his eyes of such earnest innocence about this idea that it quickly sucked the wind from my chest and made my eyes sting. Zachary even set a goal that was more than the minimum. And sure, the kid in him was rather enamored by the array of plastic prizes offered for high fundraisers, but I believed him when he said that the impetus was helping to fight against the disease that robbed him of his precious auntie. Truly, I did.
Okay, so I'd be remiss if I didn't include a link to his American Heart Association fundraising page. But please--don't feel any pressure. Warm wishes are also accepted and equally appreciated.
Honestly? I write this blog to share the human aspects of medicine + teaching + work/life balance with others and myself -- and to honor the public hospital and her patients--but never at the expense of patient privacy or dignity.
Thanks for stopping by! :)
"One writes out of one thing only--one's own experience. Everything depends of how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give."
~ James Baldwin (1924 - 1987)
"Do it for the story." ~ Antoinette Nguyen, MD, MPH
Details, names, time frames, etc. are always changed to protect anonymity. This may or may not be an amalgamation of true,quasi-true, or completely fictional events. But the lessons? They are always real and never, ever fictional. Got that?