Monday, January 28, 2013

a life he influenced

Rob sent me the news that Dr. Woltz, the obstetrician who delivered him as well as Trip and Stuart, had died. I remember him well. As I read his long and glowing obituary, I could tell that his almost ninety-nine years were full of joie de vivre and that he was loved and admired by many. He may have been surprised to know the impression he made on me. During those prenatal visits, he was not only checking the health and progress of my baby and me but also shaping some of the ways I behave today, especially my future nursing career. I was a naive twenty year old when I started seeing him during my first pregnancy, but I remember that at each visit, he was positive and smiling and fully engaged with me. Then at some point, as I was sitting there talking, trusting and unaware, he would stand, and with a few positive words he would quickly end the conversation, then happily usher me to the door. At some point during the visit, he would reassure me with, "You are perfect!" Though I am sure he said that to all the girls, it was still good to hear. Twenty years later when I became a nurse, I remembered the way Dr. Woltz had treated me when I was his patient, and I emulated him. I listened well, validated the patient, and often I would find a way to slip in the word perfect. Then I would end the session quickly on a positive note. So not only did he deliver my babies, he taught me some valuable lessons that endure with me until this very day. He was my doctor but also my teacher.

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