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>Gratitude Challenge, Day 13 – Part I

December 8, 2009

>Pick three friends or family members you see regularly. View their actions and gestures through a positive lens,assuming their goodness and witnessing their best intentions.

Day 13. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Slowly, but surely.

I choose my brother Bob-Slob The one who closeted himself for hours (AS A TEENAGER!!!) playing LEGOs in his room; who, when upset, went outside and yelled at the sundial, and the one who is now saving lives in the Inland Empire (his snooty doctor friends call him “Robert” now. I’m sorry, that just doesn’t fit). .

Ok, maybe not saving lives, but he’s a really awesome doctor and all his kiddo patients love him. I recall one story of a little guy who thought Dr. Stone was so much fun that he could not possibly be an actual doctor (since, doctors, as we all know, are not usually fun. they usually involve something pokey that hurts). He kept insisting “He’s not a doctor! He’s just Bob!”

I love that my big brother had an unwaivering intention to follow his dreams of medicine from a very early age. When we first moved to California, we lived and played in the shadow of Stanford Medical Center. Amid stories of the first heart and lung transplants, Bob-Slob was convinced that medicine was his calling. It started out as heart surgeon, but our family propensity towards low-blood sugar nixed that (12 hour surgery + no food = Bob-Slob on the floor). He kept at it though, and chose pediatrics as the next best alternative.

Two of my best-vacations-ever were road-trips we took together as (sort of) adults. One was when he moved from NOLA to LA after med school. We drove the u-haul and stopped whenever we felt like it to admire Wyatt Earp’s boot marks and the world’s largest onion, stuff like that. He bought me a vase on that trip that was hand-made by the Gila tribe. It’s one of the most treasured objets d’art in my collection. Another time, just because we felt like it, we drove to Victoria, Canada over New Year’s. We would get so bored in the car that everything was funny, even making up tuneless songs and silly face contests. I remember laughing so hard my stomach hurt…

I don’t see him often (enough). But when I do, it’s always a joy to beat him at petonque in his own back yard and sip Temecula vally wines at his table (did I mention he’s quite the sommelier these days? really!) It’s nice to have someone that you have 36 years of inside jokes with.

He’s used his talents to help children from Belize to Nairobi, Vietnam to Riverside. Whether he’s treating an H1N1 epidemic or administering a child’s first-ever medical exam in the slums of Africa, to answering phone calls from his crazy sister in the middle of the night when one of his nephews has exploded in an unidentifiable rash, or taken a swan dive onto hardwood, he’s pretty awesome at what he does. I’m proud – and oh-so-thankful – for Bob-Slob and how he uses his gifts to help others.

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