So, today, I was really stressed out during Gross Anatomy. Our first round of grades came out. I was just below where I wanted to be. Of course I panicked, freaked out, and cried. I hated that the class was taking my whole summer. I hated that I was so stressed. I hated that I missed out on things.
But then this happened to a girl in my class. And it was exactly what I needed. To show me that it’s not about the grade. It’s not about just passing. It’s about learning. It’s about preparing to become healers. It’s about the lives of the deceased. It’s about the lives of those still living. Because being someone in the health sciences, it’s not solely about the success and the academic achievements, it’s about the people who are placing their trust in you.
So here is what happened today at UB. Just uplifting. And perfect.
I met an angel today, in the form of an 85 year old woman. I was walking outside the biomed building and she honked at me from a parking spot. I walked over, and didn’t realize I was about to be changed forever. The woman rolled her window down and asked me if I was from the biomed building. I said yes, I take a class in there. She told me her husband is in there, but she can no longer walk down the path to go see him because she suffered a spinal injury. It took me a moment to realize she was talking about her late husband’s body, which he’d donated to UBs gross anatomy. The woman held back tears as she told me how she walks and leaves flower arrangements by the door that she makes for him, and how devastated she was that she could no longer make the trip. She sobbed angrily as she told me how mad she was that he was in there, how she almost had him removed. They’ve been together since they were 16, he passed in November. Then she looked me in the eyes and asked me if I was learning. I looked back at her and couldn’t help but cry as I told her that her husband had given me and all the other students the ultimate gift, an experience none of us would ever have again. She replied, well then its worth it, and one day I’ll be with him again, in there. She held my hand, and placed a styrofoam cup full of roses in my other, asking me to put them by the door. I agreed and we sat and cried together for a while, then she thanked me and said she was so grateful she found me today. I couldn’t put into words how moving the experience had been for me, so I simply said thank you for everything and that she’s changed me. I took the flowers to the door, and then read what she’d written on the cup in blue pen: “For donor Alan J, my love!! Always.” She watched the entire time, then with a honk and wave she was gone.
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