“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.
It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
I love this passage from Fahrenheit 451 that references the legacy you leave behind when you die. It’s beautiful! Luckily I have a book filled of memories and messages from so many patients, friends and family members that loved and respected my father. I wish all of you were able to read the pages and pages of memories left on my father’s Legacy page. They are so comforting and such an amazing reminder of how funny, witty, kind, loving and caring he was. As one patient said, “He healed the body and the heart.” The words humor, laughter, bedside manner, cheerful, easy to talk to, gentle, upbeat, friend, thoughtful, attentive and compassion fill the pages. I can’t share them all but I can share one that really puts me at peace:
My dear brother in medicine. I know you can see and read this now in a place of peace. You know you are one of the main reasons I became a P.A. You cared for me prior to my attending P.A. School and I always thought of you as a role model when things were tough at Emory. You will always be remembered as an asset to the medical profession, and an asset to the community. Most importantly you will always be remembered by many, many patients whom you touched in your special way.
My deepest condolences to the family, the staff of Snellville and your patients. Dr. Ahrendt, hang in there, we are all here for all of you.
Primum Non Nocere, (Which means, ‘First, do no harm’)
Dennis Joseph Hill, P.A.-C
Emory University P.A. School graduate and friend”
Happy Larry LaViola day, everyone! May his legacy live on in all who knew him and all of the memories we have in our hearts and minds.
“Faithfully, I remain.” What a beautiful way to end a memory. I have to say that the word ‘faithful’ is so pertinent to all of this. His patients, our friends and our family have remained so faithful to my family and I during the journey we call grief and moving on. For that constant love and support I am so incredibly grateful. Through this faithfulness and love my father’s legacy lives on.