Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Retirement: Tuesday's Reflection

This week begins a new stage in my husband's life --and by
Bruce, the Medical Student
association, in my life, as well. He is now fully retired. After graduating from St Louis University Medical School in 1974 and practicing medicine full-time first as a family physician and later as a hospice physician in various roles, his days of being on call night and day have ended. For most of his career he was devoted to offering quality end of life care, and those of you who have been privileged to see him at the bedside know what a caring physician, colleague and boss he has been all these years. 

Bruce is a modest person, someone who believes in being collaborative and not competitive, but you need to know he was one of the pioneering hospice physicians in this country. In part because of his work,  hospice is no longer an unknown concept.

At a party recently a young neighbor asked him, "Is there anything you've been longing to do that you have not had time to do?"

What a gentle way to ask the "what's next?" or "what are you going to do now?" 

Bruce's answer was equally gentle. He remarked that he has tried to live a balanced life and not put off what has been important to him. I attest to that, for he has always made time for his family, for his church, and for his interests, such as reading, gardening and antiquing. He has lived a gentle and caring life, and I suspect that is how he will continue to approach the beginning of his retirement years. 

                    This is where your life has arrived,
                    After all the years of effort and toil;
                    Look back with graciousness and thanks
                    On all your great and quiet achievements.

                    You stand on the shore of new invitation
                     To open your life to what is left undone;
                     Let your heart enjoy a different rhythm
                     When drawn to the wonder of other horizons.
                                               from "For Retirement"
                                               To Bless the Space Between Us,
                                               A Book of Blessings
                                               John O'Donohue

An Invitation
What comes to mind when you think of being retired? If you are retired already, what words of wisdom do you have? I would love to know. 



  1. Happy retirement, Bruce. You have earned it!

  2. Beautiful writing Nancy. It's a blessing to know Dr.B. Continue to enjoy every minute of life together!


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