I came back from my family physician’s house tonight. He had invited my family over for dinner as we had invited him to our annual Christmas dinner. It was not until I was standing in his kitchen that I realized how long I have known this man.
He has been our family physician for almost 30 years now and it was not until I was standing in his kitchen, did I realize that he has literally known me my entire life. He has watched me grow—literally; and yet, I did not know much about him. I never saw him as a family friend, only my doctor. As I stood watching my family interact with him, I felt a sense of community and friendship. I rarely see this other side of him at the office: a man who smiles and laughs until his whole body shakes with happiness. Despite being a divorced man with kids out of the city, I never thought of his situation as a bad thing. But seeing him in a new light made me aware of how lonely he probably feels sometimes. Luckily, he has found a new significant other and they seem genuinely happy together, enjoying each other’s company. Life filled his eyes tonight and it made me happy knowing that my family is considered a positive group in his life. Seeing everyone mingle and talk about the most mundane reminds me that friends is such a precious thing.
The realization that the man in the white coat is just another human being is so strange. Strange because I never thought of this before and it perplexes me as to why I never viewed him in the past as a family friend and an ordinary human being.