In my blog called Deserving, I mentioned Dr. Stonecipher, who had been our family physician for over twenty years. When the blog posted, Janet's husband, Dave, called me and asked if Dr. Stonecipher was the doctor that everyone called Stoney. Dr. Stonecipher was Dave's famliy's physician for many years and they knew through an organization called The Dons' Club, no not the mafia Dons, but a group that was interested in Arizona history and had an annual event at the Superstition Mountains. To top everything off Dave's sister-in-law works with Dr. Stonecipher at the jail in the Prescott area. Is that a "six degrees of separation" or what?
Needless to say I got in touch with him and made plans to go to Camp Verde to see him. The "sistahs", Chris, Caren and Rhonda, our "sistah from another mother", were in town a couple weeks ago and we made a "sistahhood" pilgrimage to Camp Verde. Illona who now doctors me and happened to be Dr. Stonecipher's P.A. some time ago came with us. She had applied to be a "sistah" and her hazing was having to be locked in a car over an extended period of time with a group of "sistahs", and with Caren at the wheel which means it is also a test in bladder control. Not only is Caren the Snack Nazi, but she is also the Pee Nazi. As she gets into the driver's seat, slowly she turns to the back and emphatically states, "Pee now or go in your purse because I am not stopping until we get to the destination." I always wondered why Caren carried such a big purse on trips.
Of course on the way up, we solved the problems of the world. Really, if the "sistahs" were world leaders there would be no conflict. The "sistah" world leaders would get together and do a little shopping, eat a little Mexican food, drink a few margaritas (okay, drink a lot of margaritas), catch a movie and then later in the evening over wine the conflicts would be solved. Boys in Charge, GET A CLUE! So after solving the world's problems,betting what Dr. Stonecipher looked like after all these years, and laughing so hard that the "sistahs" ' mantra, "Stop making me laugh or I'm gonna pee!" was shouted a few times, we ascended on the Stonecipher household.
First, Dr. Stonecipher looks exactly the same just older, stocky little guy with cowboy boots and jeans. For a man in his seventies he is very spry and very busy. He is the medical director at the jail, he works in an office called Doc on the Rock, and he gives of his time to doctor folks at the local nursing home. But, I shouldn't have sprung Illona on him because he kinda didn't remember her and she kept saying, "Clearly, I don't make an impact on people!" We agreed because "sistahs"always agree, and we told her that maybe she needs to work on her forgetableness. We spent the morning chatting, reminiscing, laughing and drinking coffee which is not an intelligent choice with Caren at the wheel. Poor Bill and Helen Stonecipher, it was quite a "corndog day"!
As we were getting ready to leave and saying our goodbyes, Dr. Stonecipher got up went into his mancave, the garage, and handed us a folded up piece of notebook paper. We all read it and cried! It was a letter that his 11 year old daughter, Jill Marie, wrote to him on the day of our brother, Brad's death twenty nine years ago.
I tried to call you at the hospital, but you already left. I just wanted to tell you that I know how hard it is to lose someone as close as Brad was and I am very proud of you. I know and so does everyone else that you did your best, but I know it even more. I feel that I can understand you and your feelings pretty good now. And right now I hurt because I know what Brad meant to you. Well, he meant the same to me. I am sure his family is very grateful to you for all those times you did pull him out. I guess this time God really thought is was time for him to come Home. I am very proud of you Dad and I love you very much.
Bo-Marie (Bo is her nickname)
PS. Be a "fighta" just like Brad!
We all knew how much Dr. Stonecipher cared about Brad, but not to the extent that he shared it with his family. Dr. Stonecipher and Illona are perfect examples of people who can be professionals but still care. Over the many years that I have made my yearly trips to the hospital, I have found that caring in the medical field is slowing slipping away. I would like to say to all the doctors out there, "It is okay to care, truly care for your patients."
If you live in the Camp Verde area and are looking for great doctor that truly cares, go to the office called Doc on the Rock, and tell Dr. Stonecipher Cathy Cunningham sent you. He remembers me, sorry, Illona, I am the unforgettable one!
On the lighter side Illona is now an official "sistah", she will be given a sistahhood pin in an official pinning ceremony as soon as she designs the pin, has enough made for all of us and buys the wine for the ceremony. By the way we are accepting applications for "sistahs", if you get an outfit, you can be a "sistah", too.!
Dr. Stonecipher is stocky? I am stocky! We could be buddies!
The Flip Side
I like corndogs. On a "corndog day" do I get to have corndogs?