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Here’s a poem I wrote for Father’s Day, to my dad, and to myself.

From the Department of Mirrors

My dad’s dad always told him that

the most important thing is

to be able to look at yourself in the

mirror every morning

and see the man you want to be.

I was a little boy when my dad told me that

and so it didn’t make any sense

the man I wanted to be was him,

tall, gentle, wise, loving, proud,

a man who gave everything of himself

when we went to the grocery store, always

a person would approach and say “Hi Dr. Klaus!”

with such warmth and appreciation,

my dad could never remember their name

but he would always remember their heart

He is a master of the heart, a cardiologist

the ultimate plumber of the human body

yet when it was time to fix the sink

he would call another, for

like me, he is the opposite of handy

I asked him once “How many times in your career

have you come to a patient that has died,

and put your hands on them

and done something

to bring them back?”

He paused with his thoughtful, careful gaze

and I saw him counting,

“I would say,

in the last forty years,

probably about once a week.”

I had no idea

I thought perhaps that happened a few times,

“Clear!!! Zap!! We’ve got a pulse”

and life breathing again, like on TV,

but every week?

My dad has given everything of himself

so that others can have their moms and dads a bit longer

He has given his time, and his health, and his sleep, his passion, his love, and his peace of mind,

to all those people whose names he often cannot remember,

though he always remembers their hearts.

For a long time when I looked in the mirror

I did not see the man I wanted to be

because I was not him.

I wanted to be a healer as well,

but I believed that I fell short.

How to compete with a master of hearts?

How to become a man with the touch of miracle?

How to give everything of myself

when I am selfish and small

and the opposite of handy?

But I have learned that healing comes in many forms,

that it does not happen only

in hospitals or doctor’s offices

I have learned that healing happens

in every new moment, everywhere, in every breath

The heart is more than plumbing,

and there are many kinds of mastery,

and I have learned that I too am a healer,

that I too have the touch of miracle

that I too can be a master of hearts

So today when I looked in the mirror

on this Father’s Day

I saw the man I want to be

I saw my face, which so closely,

and more every day, resembles the face of my father

I saw a man who is tall, and gentle,

and wise, and loving, and proud

I saw a man who is greeted

with love and appreciation

in the grocery store

I saw myself, and my dad, in the same mirror

I saw a man who, though not at all handy

gives everything of himself,

who saves lives

and though he cannot always remember people’s names,

always remembers their hearts.

I love you Dad! Happy Father’s Day!!!

And blessings to all you fathers and sons and daughters out there (and moms too!) . We are all in this together!

What or who are you seeing in the mirror today??

Dave Klaus

King Bee, Fire-Tender

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