Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Au Revoir, Dr. John

He first appeared in our lives in the 70's (I think.) He was in a Latin class of Ernie's. We found out he lived on our street and he was kind enough to give Ernie a ride to Wayne some days so that I could have the car. Later we learned that before we got to know her, his mother had seen me walking to the local store with a couple of kids walking beside me and two or three riding in/hanging onto the stroller. She had remarked to John that she felt sorry for me. Me too.

John applied to Medical School (and I think I remember Ernie telling him that if he didn't get in, he would make him take Greek.) He did get in and qualified as a Family Doctor.  I remember the graduation party, and as I write this many memories of times spent together come back. As his mother grew older, she needed more care and John hired carers and eventually moved to a one storey house where there was room for her wheel chair. About fifteen years ago his mother died and John became a world traveler—as well as he could while remaining in his practice.

We gave John a party for his sixtieth birthday a couple of years ago and he continued to combine his travels and his work. Eventually he realized he could combine the two passions and before we knew it he was applying for one year locum positions in New Zealand.

Finally the name "Ashburton" appeared, and we watched various on-line descriptions and movies. We heard about the clinic where he would be working.

It was on our picnic table that he finally signed the contract. And today he left for San Francisco where he will board his connection to New Zealand—first Auckland for a brief interview, then on to Christchurch.

We no longer have small children for you to remove stitches from. We will not be seeing you arriving at our house for Thanksgiving and Christmas with your arms full of gifts. Au Revoir Dr. John. We will await your return.

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