Sunday, November 11, 2018

In Memory of Dr. McCabe

In memory of Dr. Henry J. McCabe Jr.
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In Memory of Dr. Henry J. McCabe

My doctor retired in June—

but when I entered his office
just a few days ago
there was a framed photograph
of him, relaxed and smiling
beneath the words:

In Memory of
Dr. Henry J. McCabe

He died two weeks ago
on October 16, 2018, at the age of 69

Those words and that photograph
immediately caused me to tear-up and gasp
He’d been my doctor for 27 years—
a kind man, bordering on holy
with a calm manner and gentle spirit
He was refreshingly unhurried
never kept his hand on the doorknob
always would ask at the end of each visit
if my entire list of questions were answered

Actually, he was like Mister Rodgers
with a stethoscope
with a cardigan sweater
and easy manner of speech

He’d inquire about my poetry
and appreciated when I’d bring him new poems
When my husband, Leo, was dying
from the ravages of lung cancer
Dr. McCabe helped us make decisions
just as if he were treating
his own father
I’ll never forget that

I Googled his obituary
and read a stream of remembrances
similar to my own, and thought
how beautiful it is
to leave behind such a fragrance
how in a world like ours has become
full of so much hate, terror and violence
there are human beings like Dr. McCabe
who leave only goodness behind
peace and gentleness

I will miss you, good doctor
and the sweet aroma
of your presence here will linger
for a long, long time

and when it is my turn
to depart this earthly life
I hope, like you

to leave something beautiful behind

Maude Carolan Pych

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