I moved to Phoenix with my family at the age of six in 1962. Since that time, I have been fortunate to have only two general physicians. One was an understanding, caring, funny man named Dr. William C. Stonecipher. He believed that a physician could be a professional and still care about his patients. Just before my brother died, Dr. Stonecipher left his room, told my mom that he had done all that he could do, and leaned against the wall and slid to the floor in tears. Dr. Stonecipher retired to somewhere in sunny California. I hope he is well and happy. My second physician was under the tutelage of Dr. Stonecipher when I first met her. Ilona B. had a great teacher and she learned well. She is a physician's assistant and now works under Dr. Cunningham (yep, we are related in someway but he doesn't know). I wouldn't know Dr. Cunningham, if I ran into him in a flood light lit alley. I have followed Ilona to Scottsdale. I see her once or twice a year, and I have a great respect for her.
For the past ten or so years, at this time of the year I always send her a gift basket. The other day I received a call from her thanking me for the basket and she said, "I don't know what I do to deserve this kindness."
I laughed and replied, "Everybody deserves kindness."
And then I stopped to reflect. Darn, one more thing I have to put on my list of things to remember when dealing with people. Everybody deserves kindness. Or is it the only thing I need to remember? Everybody deserves kindness. In my blog about the book, Mockingbird, Kathryn Erskine's dedication explains the title, author's purpose, and book: In hopes that we may all understand each other better. Yep, everybody deserves kindness! Even that grumpy old man that works at the post office.
Everybody deserves kindness. I am not very good at this, again. First, I am not a talker. My lack of conversation in crowds gives people the wrong impression about me - BITCH! I am really not as bitchy as one might think. (At least, I don't think I am.) I AM a good listener. I am very good at giving my opinion, as a matter of fact, some (okay, many) don't like that about me. I have been told to keep my opinions to myself. But it will be easier for me to be a better person, if I just have one thing to remember on my list: Everybody deserves kindness.
I have some good role models for: Everybody deserves kindness. Da Boyz, my dog's Paco and Flip, treat everybody with kindness. It doesn't matter who walks through my door Paco and Flip are so happy to see them. Flip wiggles his entire butt and "talks" to everybody, "Raaa, raaa, ra, raaa, ra," and Paco twirls, piddles and brings the guest a toy. If there would ever be an intruder at my house, I am sure Paco would twirl, piddle on his shoe, and bring him a toy, and Flip would show him where the good stuff is, "Raaaalk dis raaaay!" Da Boyz truly live the "everybody deserves kindness" mantra. My, younger sister, Caren, is my other role model. Caren has no barriers. She has built no walls around herself. She is everybody's best friend. Caren can get on an airplane (the place where everyone reads so there doesn't have to be any conversation) and by the time she gets to her destination she knows everybody's life story and she has all their phone numbers and everyone has hers and they will ALL call her and they will ALL become her new best friend. Caren will stop at a coffee shop to run in and get a drink. As she leaves the car, she will say she is ony going to be a few minutes, but I know that is wrong. She has to talk to talk to everyone in line and behind the counter. She also has to get everyone's number. Caren and the grumpy old man at the post office have swapped numbers. Caren and Da Boyz understand that everybody deserves kindness.
Dear Ilona, (Yep, I call her by her first name and I even have her phone number.)
You asked what you did to deserve such kindness. You don't have to do anything because everybody deserves kindness. But actually you have done a lot. You have kept me alive all these years even one year when I didn't want to be kept alive. You have fought the "quality of life issue" for me. You have put my needs above medical "I really shouldn'ts". But really it shouldn't matter what you have or haven't done, because EVERYBODY DESERVES KINDNESS.
Thanks for leading me to that bit of understanding,
Your favorite patient
Okay, okay, I get it. When Flip enters the house I will twirl, piddle of his foot and bring him a toy. Does it have to be my favorite toy?
The Flip Side
I am nice to the lizards. I invite them in the house all the time. I haven't eaten one . . . . . . yet.