Have you ever experienced a moment when you are so touched by a discovery that it causes you to set your “to do” list aside in order to absorb in the emotions? This happened to me recently and I have my father to thank for the heart wrenching moments. He died 20 years ago at the age of 63. He was a doctor having graduated from Carolina Medical School at the top of his class. But in spite of his incredibly sharp mind, it was his kind heart and gentle soul that was his most beloved trait by his family, friends and patients. He began his medical career with his own practice. He only charged $3.00 per office visit. He was, also, known for accepting vegetables from the garden of patients who had difficulty paying. It bothered him greatly to bill his patients. He decided to go back to school at Bowman Gray to become a pathologist. He could be paid by the hospital and never have to worry about billing his patients again. After he died we received a mountain of letters from his former patients who had been so appreciative of his good deeds.
I happened to run across a multitude of his old medical textbooks. I noticed that on the inside cover of each of his books, he had written beautiful quotes that he had gathered from a myriad of sources. After drinking each of them in, it struck me that he had lived his whole life by these quotes. It completely explained why he was such a cherished husband, father, friend and doctor. I am sharing a few of the quotes below in hopes that each of you will use them to live by as you progress through your journey called “life!”
Do all the good you can…By all the means you can… In all the ways you can… To all the people you can… As long as ever you can… John Wesley
To cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always… Fifteenth century French quote
If you wish for kindness, be kind.
What you give of love you receive
If you wish for truth, be true.
Your life is a reflex of you….James Allen
One ship sails east, another sails west
With the self same winds that blow.
It’s the set of the sail and not the gale
That determines the way they go.
Like the winds of the sea are the waves of fate
As we journey along through life.
It’s the set of the soul that determines the goal
And not the storm and the strife….Elma Wheeler Wilcox
The Rose Beyond The Wall
Near a shady wall a rose once grew,
Budded and blossomed in God’s free light,
Watered and fed by the morning dew,
Shedding it’s sweetness day and night.
As it grew and blossomed fair and tall,
Slowly rising to loftier height,
It came to a crevice in the wall
Through which there shone a beam of light.
Onward it crept with added strength
With never a thought of fear or pride,
It followed the light through the crevice’s length
And unfolded itself on the other side.
The light, the dew, the broadening view
Were found the same as they were before,
And it lost itself in beauties new,
Breathing it’s fragrance more and more.
Shall claim of death cause us to grieve
And make our courage faint and fall?
Nay! Let us faith and hope receive–
The rose still grows beyond the wall,
Scattering fragrance far and wide
Just as it did in days of yore,
Just as it did on the other side,
Just as it will forever-more.
Your Dad was a very compassionate fellow,even the young age l was when going to him l remember how kind and gentle he was,can’t believe it’s been 20 yrs since his passing.l hope you and your mom are well.l remember you guys living across the street from us in Jonesville,so many years have passed.Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for your touching words, Cynthia! He truly was a kind and gentle man! Miss him so much!
Thank you for this, Hunter- we will celebrate our fathers and were blessed with such good ones- I lost Dad when I was ten, but I learned so much about living and how to be the giving soul like he was, I only pray that he would be proud of me, and I know he would have loved his grandchildren…he lived as he believed: through his way of compassion, truly being a doctor was his dream and his life- healing as he also started out in his own practice, after graduating top of his class at Harvard medical school- yes, he also received vegetables for payment sometimes- he took me along sometimes on house calls to the sick. After he died, and to this day, I have learned and heard so much about this man, my father, who grew up in a small town in Virginia, with loving parents I adored. No wonder he became such an outstanding and memorable man and doctor– I never heard him raise his voice in anger or such. He lived his values. He worked for the health and lives of others, and loved my sister and brother and mom and his folks, so so much I knew and felt it though I was a child. He was home with us, when he was ill with cancer, part of the time; I recall reading him his favorite parts of the Bible, including the 23rd Psalm. I know he wanted me to keep it in my heart, as I read it aloud.
Beth, my sister, and I share his medical books as well. I cannot believe what you found inside your dad’s, what a gift- I , too, stopped everything and read them, cried, and will share them. Celebrate life, and we moved forward through all losses and grieve as we learn to love more, to give more back, to help others, and to carry on the traditions of those we love and have not lost- they are still teaching us, and are always in our lives. <3
This also made me stop, cry, and wanted to write you.
As you may recall, my father was also an M. D., top of his class from Harvard Med. School, and died when he had been in his own practice for a short time- I was only 10. I learned so much from this man, my Dad, I remember him, I know him, and I pray that he is proud of me and his grandchildren are surely blessed, but missed such a loving grandfather.
In our small hometown, he was also known by his patients well, and yes he, too, was sometimes paid by vegetables, he took me with him on house-calls to his home-bound sick folks. I still am reminded when I am up in Reidsville, of my father, Dr. Sam K. Stallard, how he was such a kind, compassionate Dr., how they adored him, or that he delivered them when they were born. The ones his age, have sadly mostly crossed- over as I like to say it. I know where he is, and I believe he watches over me as a protective presence.
My sister and I shared the medical books, which always were in Mama’s “Lawyer’s Cabinet” I have at the farm. I keep cherished memories there; I also have things from his grandfather, Dr. Nathan Stallard, who was known to ride horseback into the trails of the rural area in Virginia where they lived to reach his home-bound patients. He also was a Dr. during the end of the Civil War, and proceeded to have quite a few children, including my own grandfather.
I appreciate you sharing the amazing quotes that your Dad had left written in his text books- I love even just staring at his signature to identify that it was his book, and imagine his hand writing and you truly have a gift your father left behind.
Aren’t we blessed? We have not really lost them, they are still with us and teaching lessons, living our lives through their past example, growing along our own path as they still guide us.
I miss him so much, and I know how painful your losses have been. Their is strong faith that carries us, and I send you much love and joy today and pray that you have peace!
I do know that our lost loved ones want us to be happy. We have to constantly remind ourselves of that. I appreciate your writing and I hope that you can, also, find peace!