Thomas, meet Tom.


Wednesday September 12, 2018

Dear Thomas,

Yesterday, I met a man named “Tom” at the Rutland hospital.

My husband Richard had a routine procedure that required him to be sedated. When the nurse discharged him, Tom arrived and asked Richard to take a seat in a wheelchair. Tom easily turned the chair around and headed down the hall.

“From your badge, I see you’re a volunteer?” I asked.

“I’ve been doing this for about 7-8 years, 3-4 times each week,” he said as we passed a woman lying on a gurney waiting to be wheeled somewhere. “It keeps me busy.”

Tom’s lean forearm muscles flexed under a cloud of thick snow white hair and his chiseled face and cloudy eyes hinted he was much older than I initially thought.

“Before I retired, I was high school principal in Westchester County, New York. My son was the CEO of this hospital until just recently when he retired.”

“Do you mind me asking how old you are?”

“I’ll be 90 in January.”

I drove up to the hospital entrance and came around to open the car door for my husband.

“You’re so inspiring. I’m turning 60 next February,” I exclaimed.

Tom smiled and called over the roof of the car, “Why, you’re just getting started.”

Until next time, your house’s faithful caretaker,

Marilee

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