IN HONOR OF DR. COX
LEAVING PEOPLE BEHIND - Part lV
The topic of leaving people behind is so complex that I could write about it forever.
Here are a few final thoughts, for now.
Be good to those who have been good to you, be merciful to most others, but say a quick goodbye to the cruel and those who do not want you. Life is a gift. We need to be its fierce protector and, at times, we need a fierce anger, a firm resolve (when it is in our power) not to let serious harm go on.
I carry the psychotherapist's "curse" of seeing brokenness so clearly that one gets used to bad behavior and crazy ways, so sometimes I'm too kind, too forgiving, and too patient. Don't let what I write prevent you from leaving people behind when that really needs to be done.
But I will hold forever to this thought: as much as we can, we need to give people a chance.
In 1954 twin babies were born two months prematurely. They weighed under five pounds total, about two and a half pounds each. It was the days before sonograms, and only one of the babies was expected, the other was a surprise noticed only at the moment of delivery. Their mother could put her wedding ring over their little hands and scoot it all the way up to their shoulders. It was obvious they only had a fighting chance to live. Two months premature. 1954. You get the picture.
Thank God there is often an unexpected factor in the battle of life. In this case a certain stubborn Dr. Cox refused to give up on "the twins" and he stayed in the hospital for 48 hours straight.
In 1960, six years later, Dr. Cox had retired to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia because he had a bad heart. Word came to the twins' father that Dr. Cox was not going to be long for this earth and so the father took his sons to visit the doctor. It was a six hour trip from their home.
When he took the boys inside, I think the father had a lump in his throat because he told the boys, "Sons, I would like you to meet the man who saved your lives."
I can't remember much else about the conversation. I am the unexpected twin who may have felt a bit left behind at the start of things. When all is said and done, I think we should err on the side of really working hard for people, of not leaving them behind, of going out of our way for their precious little existence. And I suppose if you want to blame me for my thinking, you should blame Dr. Cox who went out of his way for me and my brother, who erred on the side of working really hard for me, and who did not leave me behind.