Saturday, November 24, 2012
The day after Thanksgiving I got to the Dermatologist's office at 8 AM to have a Basal Cell Carcinoma removed from my right temple. At 8:30 I was called in to the surgical room, the nurse gave me a local anesthetic and the surgeon removed a layer and off it went to their in house lab for processing. I spent an hour and a half in the waiting room or walking around the parking lot and doing stretching. At 10 I went in for round two and then back to the waiting room. I then called my wife to give her a progress report as I walked. At 1030 I was called in for round three. Then it was back to the waiting room and a walk and a phone call. At noon they served lunch and it was 12:45 when I was called back and told tha t they were closing up the wound. That took much longer than the surgey but as soon as I got out of the building I called home and talked to my wife telling her I was fine. I could tell she wasn't hearing the right words so I said "they got it all" and I could hear the relief in her voice. I never thought it was a big deal but couldn't ease her worry. Four words did it.
As you read that I'm sure you thought there's nothing amazing about that and you're right. What made it amazing for this old Vietnam vet was the people in the waiting room. There were six men and 2 women. All six of use were vets and I was the youngest. Four of the men were combat veterans of WWII - The Greatest Generation. I was in awe of those men and what they had endured. As a kid I would sit in a room with my Dad and his buddies and ask questions but at that age I was interested in what seemed to be an adventure to me. Now that I understand what they went through and have experienced some of it I was interested in what units they were in what campaigns they were in. Those men are all around 90 years old and mentally sharp. Their generation are my parents generation and I have a tremendous respect for not only the men that served but the women who stayed home and endured the wartime living conditions and the daily worry as they hear the war news on the radio. Their life was so much tougher than mine has been and their wartime experiences very traumatic. If you look for inspiration look at those people. They won't be around much longer.
I'm sitting here with a line of sutures over 2 inches long running up my temple and into my hairline. My wife will remember that day because "He got it all". I'll remember that day for the unassuming heroes I was privileged to share my day with.
Enjoy the ride,