The Right Doctor

My husband was worried about finding a good specialist…

My husband, Bob, had health problems, and it had gotten so bad he worried he might have to give up the job he loved, teaching art at a middle school.

His longtime doctor had urged him to see a specialist, but Bob was really worried about finding the right person.

“I don’t know this new doc,” he complained. “How do I know if he’s right for me?”

I thought back to the beginning of our marriage, when we traveled to galleries and art fairs throughout California, selling Bob’s work. We’d pack the car before dawn with his abstract paintings, along with a metal cash box for the money we hoped to make.

Those were such carefree days. It was exciting to show his work and meet other artists even if we didn’t make many sales. What mattered was finding people who liked his work.

One time, at a street fair in Westwood, near UCLA, we’d sold nothing all day. We were packing up our car to leave when a young boy and his father came up to us.

“How much is that one?” the man asked, pointing to the last painting we left out. We told him, and he asked if we had time to show them more. Did we ever!

Our two patrons walked away with eight paintings! What a great feeling. “That,” said Bob, during the drive home, “was a real Godsend.”

So my heart ached for my husband when he finally went off to see the specialist. Bob looked so miserable that I said a prayer for him.

But he was different when he returned. Smiling, bright-eyed, a bounce in his step. “What happened to you?” I asked.

Bob told me that he had been reluctant to enter that specialist’s office. He sat in the waiting room and flipped through some magazines for something to distract him. He glanced around the room at the other patients, at the receptionist, but he couldn’t stop mulling over the difficult decisions he had to make about this specialist, his health, his job.

Then he looked up. And immediately he felt reassured. He knew he was in just the right place. There, hanging on the office walls, beautifully displayed, were eight paintings. Those same eight paintings we’d sold on that day so many years ago.

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