Ask Dr. Brinkman

Priorities in Black & White

“I could not llve the rest of my life knowing maybe I could have done something.”

After escaping from a Nazi death march in 1945, these are the words my mother said to herself right before she purposely let herself get captured again, so she could tell her sisters about how they might escape. She found her sisters among the 1000 girls in the march, explained how to escape and the next day they all did.

She passed away earlier this year and I spent most of December and January living with her and enjoying her in Arizona. This July my father (also a concentration camp survivor) was hospitalized for a month with a life threatening disease. When he was released August 8th I thought I was going to be in NYC for 5 days to help him get set up. Now thirty three days later I am leaving him for the first time.

Luckily I had space in my schedule to be there for him, although even when I am not traveling there are still plenty of work prioities. Just in the creative category alone there was 5 articles, 4 blogs, 3 podcasts, and a Tele-seminar oh my. Unfortunately they didn’t all get done. But what did get done is everything I could possibly do for my Dad. This included de-cluttering his apartment (a six day process), organizing his home so he can function even with impaired short-term memory, taking him to Portland for 2 weeks of concentrated naturopathic therapies, having great quality time with him, organizing home care support and a whole lot more. But today I finally had to leave. So I tagged his ear with radio transmitter and released him into the wild of NYC. 😉 And as I sit here on a plane bound for seminars in the United Kingdom I can hear my mother’s words and know for certain that I can live the rest of my life knowing I did all I could. Sometimes priorities are simply black and white.

PS: During the second week following his release from the hospital my father and I went out to our local Chinese restaurant. My fortune cookie was the fortune you see superimposed on the picture to the left. His fortune was, “Forget the stock market, invest in family.” So he bought dinner. 😉

6 Responses to “Priorities in Black & White”

  1. Girl Says:

    Fabulous post Rick. And do you ever look like your father! Not to mention what a cutie-pie you were in 1958. You still have the same expression.

  2. Leslie Lew Says:

    Rick,
    A beautiful story. And how wonderful you could spend time with both of your parents! I also love the pics- What an imp- you were! And your Dad has your smile- or should I say you have his!
    XXX00,
    Leslie

  3. Carle Barley Says:

    Poignant and indisputable!!! Love–what a many splendid thing!

  4. Flushing Flash Says:

    ‘And in the end, the love you get is equal to the love you give’
    Rick…you’re right, “Forget the stock market, invest in family.” I would add friends to that also.

  5. Scottish Rose Says:

    So true. If you know you could lose someone, things become crystal clear. Just learn to treasure all the moments now and you get to do all you could do. Bless you, and bless your Dad (I no longer have mine) xx

  6. Dr. K Says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Just as you’re lucky to still have your Dad around, he’s lucky to have such a loving and devoted son.

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