Fast forward about 5 years and I pulled out that business card one day. On the back was the name of my friend and co-worker, Max. Ironically, we had begun working together years before. I had never realized it was the name that was written on that card so many years prior.
I guess you could say our friendship was meant to be.
Max was always there for me as I set out on this new career.
-When I was nervous to treat a pediatric patient, Max went with me and helped me out.
-When we were stuck at work overnight during the Blizzard of '96, Max was there and making it fun.
-When we worked the day of Princess Diana's funeral, we secretly caught glimpses of the TV together in empty hospital rooms.
-He took countless breaks with me while I smoked a Salem (yes, I really was a Respiratory Therapist who smoked.....the shame!)
You could say Max was my biggest cheerleader at work. He was also the one who rallied the troops for our monthly gatherings to go country line dancing.
He always made me laugh. One day I told the story of how a tree branch fell on the top of my car as I was driving to work, swearing those darn squirrels were out to get me. The following day I found this creepy picture on my locker.
He gave his blessing when Bill and I got engaged and treated him like a long, lost brother.
More recently, when my Dad was having open heart surgery a few years ago, Max had a conversation with everyone who my Dad might come into contact with to make sure he got the best of care. From the staff in the Operating Room, the ICU, the cardiac floor, and I wouldn't even doubt the kitchen staff.....all knew that a VIP was coming and Max requested they roll out the red carpet.
Because he never forgets a birthday, and I always forget his, I started crafting this post.....a long overdue thank you to a good friend and mentor. Max, you are the best!
|My Bryn Mawr Hospital coworkers - June, 1998|