In spite of all the personal excitement I have had over this past month, the joys of moving to a new city with my wife, finding an awesome job, and meeting new patients, the death of a friend puts everything else into perspective. I typically view moving to a new state as a big deal, and indeed it is a major life decision. But life itself is paramount to all the “little things” in it, and when it is taken away so suddenly and unexpectedly, do we truly appreciate its beauty and fragility? My father always said: “There are two rules in life: 1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And 2. Everything is the small stuff.” And while a less wise part of myself could get rattled by getting caught in the rain, dropping my phone in a puddle, or getting a parking ticket (all of which I have done this past month), they truly do not even register when compared to life.
At a lovely, outdoor, and socially distant Rosh Hashanah prayer service, I was moved by the following quote from the rabbi’s sermon: “If you’re not happy with what you’ve got, you can’t be happy with what you get.” The message has resonated with me over the last few weeks. Perhaps one of the finest ways to honor those who have passed is to be happy. Happiness, obviously not for their loss, but for the fact that they would want us to be happy and spread our happiness to others and the animals we care for. I hope to honor them in such a way and help make the world a little brighter, one patient at a time.