Still Life with Candle

7:00 AM

David Ligare ,Still Life with Candle, 1999

Dear Dad,

Going into surgery is not as easy as it sounds. It sounds simple, just walk into the waiting room as the anesthesiologist jabs a decently-sized needle into your arm and you feel cold distribute throughout your vessels as the sedative finds your nervous system. Simple right? As a kid, you cannot know what the smart, intimidating doctors are inserting into you, but you make it different. One time out of my many visits to the Emergency Room, the nurse was struggling to coerce the IV into the correct vessel in my arm in addition to dealing with my aversion to needles. But I looked over and saw you take over and it was a vastly different procedure. Despite the fact that you are my father, your calm demeanor and mental fortitude in the face of complications put me at ease as you cracked your typical Dad joke. “What do you call a cow with two legs? Lean beef. Funny one, Dad. 

As an anesthesiologist, you are the last person a child sees as he falls under the control of the sedative. You put them to sleep and they know that you’ll help make them better when they wake up. Twelve hours later and your ceaseless attention, they’ll wake up with a brand new heart, a new flame so that they can continue on with life. You wake up before the sun even has a chance to do so and continue work until sun has had enough with us for one day.  Your flame burns bright to rival that of the sun and then some.  Not every operation comes out successful but you learn from the situation and do not let that deter you from helping every patient that walks into your operating room.  Your drive runs seemingly endlessly despite your body not quite enjoying the lengths you might go to.

I give you this candle as an inspiration to me to always do my work with passion and unflinching devotion. Thank you.

Editor's Note: Students were asked to give a painting to someone or something they cared for. These are their moving responses.

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