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From someone very close to me.

03 September 2021
“Remember friend, as you walk by,
As you are now so once was I.
As I am now, you soon will be.
Prepare yourself to follow me.”
Author unknown.

The original of this epitaph appeared in a European monastery. 

During the past five years I have had the pleasure of meeting scores of men and women 60 or 70 or 80 years my senior. I have, in my mind, a Rolodex of conversations I’ve had with elderly people in the backs of ambulances and at bedsides. The 93 year old black woman who was the first African American principal in the state of Ohio, the 97 year old veteran who brought my partner and me into his room at the assisted living, putting on a record from the 1940s and offering each of us a beer from his mini fridge, and the husband and wife that came over together on a boat from Italy, celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary in the COVID ICU. But when I meet these people(notice I don’t ‘say when I care for these people’) I don’t see them today. I see who they were. I see a champion of civil rights, a soldier, two immigrants who huddled together in the hull of a ship dreaming of a new life full of possibility. I see a suffragette, an engineer, an inventor, a professor. And in all my encounters with these forgotten men and women I’ve come to see through the wrinkled hands and hospital gowns into the past. They are just like you and me and as they are so we will be.

Sara Thomas, NRP, Clinical EMS Director

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