Feb 28 2021

Life in the Time of Corona(virus) – Day 348

by at 11:00 pm under Uncategorized

In many ways, we all spend our lives engaged in a battle with death, poised on a precipice. Beyond the usual struggles associated with existence, I chose to dedicate my life to battle death quite directly as a physician, oncologist and cancer researcher. It is a good fight. Even though none of us can ever win the ultimate war, we have certainly won many battles with cancer. That gives me an enormous sense of satisfaction. I am beginning to believe that the coronavirus is finally on the run, too. Yet another battle is being won, even as new ones emerge.

It’s been a tough week. Here I am today, unsteadily poised on a precipice in a different sort of battle. On the one hand, I am reflecting on a week of loss. My father’s funeral was on Monday, and in response to pandemic precautions, only a handful of mourners physically attended the funeral, which was also live streamed. I had the terrible privilege of delivering a eulogy, and we then decamped to the cemetery, in a cold driving rainstorm, for a brief graveside service. It was sad and moving. Harriet and I then immediately hurried up to New York City and set up a Zoom memorial gathering to honor my father’s memory. The gathering was very cathartic, sweet and moving. As I have written before, I will miss my father enormously, but will never feel cheated.

Pivoting to the other view of the precipice, we had decamped to New York to drive our daughter-in-law and son to the hospital to induce her labor. Our new grandson was born on Tuesday, robust and seemingly healthy, though with a life-threatening coarctation of the aorta that will require major surgery this coming Tuesday. Talk about emotional whiplash! I had to choose between grief, worry and joy, all within 24 hours. I chose joy, and I still do. To be sure, mourning and anxiety are unavoidable, but a new life has been brought into the world. And, as I reflect back on the life of Samuel Weiner, I cannot help but smile with gratitude, especially when I think about the bright future of his great-grandson. Clark Samuel Weiner carries my dad’s name, genes and legacy into the future, strong and able to overcome each and every challenge life will bring.

Stay safe and be well.




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