Saturday, October 29, 2016

Men of the hour


It's been an eventful week, including our son's graduation from the FDNY EMS Academy on Thursday, and my husband's birthday yesterday. In between I had doctor visits and work stuff, and all of it added up to not a single post last week. It was a good week, though. My son's first official day on the job was yesterday. He got the station house he wanted, the one in Chinatown where he'd been assigned during training rotations, where he already knows the other medics. They asked for him. That's my son. He works hard. He's entertaining to have around in a guy's guy kind of way. He rolls up his sleeves and doesn't trip over the small stuff. I'd want him on my team, too.

That's a picture of him, fifth from the left, doing the Count on Deck with his graduating class ("Highly motivated, truly dedicated FDNY probies, sir ... oorah! oorah! oorah!"). Later they took the Oath of Geneva, which was adopted in 1948 as a declaration of the medical community's dedication to humanitarian goals, a declaration that was deeply significant in the wake of medical crimes so recently committed by the Nazis. The words of the Oath are quite beautiful, worth setting down here.

I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity; 
I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due; 
will practice my profession with conscience and dignity; 
The health of my patient will be my first consideration; 
I will respect the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died; 
I will maintain by all the means in my power, the honor and the noble traditions of the medical profession; 
My colleagues will be my sisters and brothers; 
I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient; 
I will maintain the utmost respect for human life; 
I will not use my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat; 
I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honor.

As the class of EMTs and paramedics recited this oath, my eyes filled up. I looked at my husband and saw him swipe at the corners of his eyes, too. When they were done, the captain said to the group, "You are now among the few people in this world who can say they save lives for a living." That my son has arrived at this place he has pointed himself toward since he was ten years old still fills me with awe. Intention has power.

I didn't get many good pictures from the day. It was raining hard outside, and inside the light threw weird shadows down our faces. But as my daughter said when I lamented the lack of share worthy photos, "You were there. That's what counts."

Then on Friday night, we had an easy low-key birthday celebration, just the kids, their loves, and us, for the other man of the hour, my wonderful husband, the man my daughter thanked a week ago for being there. One of her friends was going through some heartache because her father had never been there, and our girl just wanted her dad to know how much she appreciated the fact that that she never had to worry about not having him in her corner. These October-born men named Radford, both the father and the son, they are good and honorable men to have in your corner. Happy birthday my love, my lover, my best friend. I am eternally grateful it's you.


22 comments:

  1. Wow. Every word of that oath is perfect. I probably would have been on the floor weeping if I'd been there because that's how I am.
    That birthday celebration looks just about perfect.
    Golly, woman! You've had a lot to celebrate this week! And may I add- blessed are the daughters who know their daddies are there for them. How wise of your daughter to realize her blessing.

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    1. Ms. Moon, it was a big week in our household, for sure. And I love that my girl took the moment to actually tell her daddy she appreciates him. My heart is so full. Hugs.

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  2. I love that oath. I will keep it close to my heart as a reminder that I am on a right path.

    You and your's are GREAT MEN and GREAT WOMEN.

    xoxoxo

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    1. Michelle, i love when i see you in comments! Or that you've posted. That oath will be particularly meaningful to you, in your profession. I was very moved by it, and by what great women and men like you, do.

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  3. Intention has power. Yes.

    And what a gorgeous cake! Also, I agree with Ms. Moon about your daughter's wisdom. Happy tears for gratitude from this corner :o)

    Been thinking of you and wishing you well, glad to read from you!

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    1. Hannah, it's a strawberry shortcake! With no calories. Ha!
      Thank you for sending good wishes our way. I'm grateful for it.

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  4. If only every single medical student would need to swear to that oath before they can practice.
    Congratulations to you for raising such a dedicated young man.

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    1. Sabine, I think that oath was mean to replace the Hippocratic Oath, but I'm sure sure it ever did. And thank you for the kind words.

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  5. Replies
    1. Elizabeth, wow. Yes, that's how I feel too.

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  6. Wonderful! That being there counts so much!

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    1. Kristin, being there is everything, isn't it? That's all they'll remember, whether we showed up. Nice to see you, friend.

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  7. Happy Birthday to your October-born Radfords. Your pictures were fine, as was your post. That oath had me swiping my eye, too.

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    1. e, hope you're feeling better than you were. Thanks for coming by and sprinkling good thoughts.

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  8. This is so very moving, from beginning to end. Lovely! Belated birthday wishes to both of your fellows.

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    1. jenny_o, i have been moved again and again this week. i looked at pictures of my husband and son taken the day my son was born and i thought, who could have dreamed this?

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  9. Congratulations to your son and happy birthday to both he and your husband.
    Xoxo
    Barbara

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  10. Replies
    1. Kimberly, hope you and your family are doing well, I've been missing you, but know you're busy doing important work, and with a big ol' heart. Love you back.

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  11. So Beautiful! Congratulations and Happy Birthdays. That's one helluva beautiful oath. Blessings and love to you and your family.

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    1. Yolie, isn't that oath beautiful, though. As soon as I heard it I wanted to share the whole thing. Thanks for being here, dear one, and for making this world a more loving place.

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