Saturday, October 20, 2007

"I'll Play Your Game"

I’ve been tagged for the latest blog version of a chain letter: 10-20-30. Mary DeMuth gets the blame/credit for starting all this. She tagged D’Ann Mateer, who in turn tagged me. I don’t normally play these games, and I respectfully decline to tag others, but in deference to the folks who brought me into this, here’s a view into my life at those times.

30 years ago (1977):
I was entering my tenth year of private practice in otolaryngology (ear, nose & throat) and just beginning to move toward a subspecialization in nasal and sinus work, including allergy. My wife, Cynthia, and I were celebrating eighteen years of marriage. Our children were seventeen, twelve, and seven respectively. Our travel was pretty well confined to trips to our lake house at Runaway Bay, about an hour’s drive away.

20 years ago (1987):
I was still in private practice, but getting disenchanted with so much of the hassle. Cynthia and I made several trips to other parts of the country to meetings and courses where I was teaching. I’d had a number of professional papers published as well as writing dozens of textbook chapters. The children were growing up and one had already left home.

10 years ago (1997):
I’d been a Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School for four years. Cynthia was also working in the department as Allergy Nurse. The nest was empty. Our trips now involved not only medical schools and courses all over the US but into Europe and Asia as well. I’d published one textbook and was working on the second.

A few more bits of history:
1999—Cynthia, my wife of forty years, my constant companion, suffered a massive stroke two weeks after she retired from the medical school. With her death, my world collapsed.

2001—God blessed me once more with the love of a wonderful woman, and Kay and I were married. At the time of our marriage she didn’t have a passport, but she got one the next week and within a year, because of my lectures and teaching, it was getting full. (Our honeymoon trip was Thailand--where I almost pushed her off the top of an elephant-- and Singapore).

2004—I retired from the medical school after ten years on the faculty. Attendance at a Christian Writers’ Conference started me on the road to turning the journaling I did after Cynthia’s death into a book, The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse, now in its third printing.

If you'd like to read more about me, you can go to my website. But that should hold you for now. Mary and D'Ann, thanks (sort of) for inviting me.


One More Writer said...

Thanks for playing, Richard. I always lover learning more bits and pieces about my friends!

Crystal Laine Miller said...

I'm so glad you played along. Your life is rich and has an amazing past that we can learn so much from. Your book is so helpful, and I've given it to many friends now in the wake of the death of a spouse.

I'm so glad you and Kay found each other (and that you didn't manage to push her off that elephant!)

I love these looks into people's lives.