This Ain’t Fiction
A favorite patient of mine passed away this week. She had been frail since childhood, but she would tell you right quick she wasn’t a victim of nothing.
She overcame adversity in such a heroic way. She was right. She was no victim. Everyone went to her for advice along the way, including me. I did very little for her other than visit and treat her allergies. I learned more from her than she ever did from me.
Everyone trusted her. She was the only woman in the County besides my mama and my daughter who my wife would let me kiss. She was confined to bed the last few years. When I came out for a house call, I often began the visit with a kiss on her forehead.
In physician fiction, you have to change all the names and clinical circumstances to protect folk’s privacy. I always do that. However I do have her blessings, in fact her request, to let you know she was the lady who inspired Mason Marley in my book. As a Doctor I got to know some remarkable people and she was at the top of my list; one of the most inspiring human beings I ever met.
She is one of the few folks on earth who has read the entire manuscript. I am so glad she could read it before she was gone.
Just a few months ago, we had a long discussion about privacy. I told her as a Doc I could never tell who inspired Mason Marley, and would honor that forever. She said, “Oh Tommy, it’s O.K. I hope you tell the whole world.” I hope in some small way my story will immortalize her. Her soul will live forever, but I want people to know of her human spirit too, even though my day job rightly demands I fictionalize it.
God rest your soul Mason Marley. You were a hero.
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