Today is set aside as a holiday. Most holidays are spent in happy gatherings with feasting and games. This one day, however, is for remembering. As a long weekend it is convenient for camping, fishing, and picnicking, yet most people still take time to remember.
At the cemeteries millions of flowers adorn headstones and flags wave proudly over the men and women who sleep from their military toils. Veterans stand at attention and speakers raise their voices in praise and remembering of their comrades who have gone before.
I visited grave sites and remembered my forebears. I know so little about the people themselves, but it was their essence that is now in my very cells. Others, whom I have known, have left their imprint on my life as well. I have been blessed to know many wonderful people in my life. I don’t know if I have had more “acquaintances” than others, because my profession, but I have the duty, sometimes, to meet them when they are at their worst physical conditions. I have known hundreds of people who have, in the courses of their illnesses gone on to die.
There are times when this feels like a personal defeat. I’m a doctor, I feel like I should be able to save them. My perspective has to change, however, to see that I can’t save anyone from physical death. My job isn’t to save people from death, but to help them live their lives fully. My education, my experience, and my persistence is only an enhancement to what God has put within all of us. He is the one who heals the body and I can help others to understand this fact.
Yesterday I focused upon my family, my forebears. Today I think about my patients and other friends who have gone on to the rest of their life, after death. I am thankful for those who put God’s DNA in my blood, who gave me life. I am thankful for those whose smile greeted me in my office, whose laugh I can recall. I am thankful for those whose hands I held in their last days of life, when there wasn’t much joy. I have known some for mere moments before the veil of death closed their eyes, but their lives touched mine.
Today I remember and am blessed by the memories of all who have gone before me.by