Sunday, February 13, 2011

We love # 12: When daddy comes home

Bill's work hours are always long but a few times times a year they become especially arduous. At these times he goes more than two weeks without a day off. Yesterday ended one of those stretches --19 days without a day off. He tries hard during those periods to get enough time with us. One Saturday after work he picked up Zoey for a daddy daughter-date. They went to a patient's funeral and then visited another dying patient. They had a great time--really. Living with an oncologist who specializes in end of life care means that all of us are a little more aware of how mortal we are. At the end of one busy week Bill mentioned how much lighter his patient load was. Lizzy asked jokingly, "What happened to all of your other patients--did they die?" Bill answered, "Well, umm actually, they did." The girls found this extremely distressing. I do too when I let myself think about it. Some nights Bill just has to unload and tell me about the hard and difficult stuff he sees. Another way Bill deals with all this emotional stress is yard work. Yesterday he built more grow boxes and hauled more dirt. He finally got his haircut and we took a family walk to the beach. (You'll forgive me for not blogging.) Everything feels more complete with him home.


kim said...

We love when Daddy comes home, too.

I think that what Bill does is pretty amazing. It must be so hard, and yet so important for those patients and their families. I hope he realizes what a difference he is making for them.

Brandan and Becky said...

If it's a few times a year that you're working almost 3 weeks without a day off, it can take a pretty big chunk out of a year pretty quick.

Brandan hates it when I add up the time he spends at work, but I find myself doing it when he's gone from home too much. I try to keep it to myself because he really doesn't want to know. This Saturday, however, we watched the sunrise together on a morning run and the sunset together as we drove home. So nice.

TX Girl said...

I thought he went into internal medicine for the easy work hours?

I can actually picture his tone of voice when he said "Well, umm actually, they did."

There are a large amount of reasons we love Bill (So much so, that Adam would even consider moving to the People's Republic of California just to live closer), but one of them is his outlook on life. I tell everyone about him, and when they ask..

"Who would ever want to be an oncologist?" I say "why Bill. Because I've never met anyone more perfectly suited for it." His temperament, how easy he makes it look, etc. Adam and I have had those sad discussion too, but at the end of the day I'm always happy patients have someone helping them that truly loves what they are doing. You know?