A tribute to my father on the 20th anniversary of his death.
Twenty years ago today I got the call from the Hospice nurse that my father had died. He has been ill for a couple of years with leukemia and the news came as no surprise but it still hit me hard. I spent the next several years feeling like a large chunk of me had been amputated.
It’s mostly true that time is a great healer and I only tear up occasionally when I talk about him – which is almost every day. My children were all born after he was gone but they talk about him like they knew him because I have made sure that he is part of their life.
I became a surgeon partly because of my father. He was a mechanical engineer who loved more than anything to problem solve and to fix stuff, whether it was a toaster, a cat door or the transmission on my 1972 Vega (really). And he passed that love of fixing stuff down to all of his children, including me.
In medical school, I was resistant to the idea of going into surgery because of the very long and difficult residency. I knew that my life would be on hold for many years if I chose the surgical life. His advice was to give it a try because if I didn’t, I would always be asking myself “what if…”. I took his advice and here I am 24 years into my practice of plastic surgery. I survived the training (barely), claimed a normal personal life (a little late), and love coming to work every single day and fixing stuff.
Thanks Dad. You are probably welding a crack in the Pearly Gates with St. Peter.
Thanks for reading. Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder