Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Good and the Bad

Today is Dr. Mohammed Rashad's Memorial at our home. You may remember him from my book readings. I promised him that I would only do my book readings with him sitting next to me. Well, now he has passed away and here we are with only half of the book read. The book is the last thing on my of Dr. Rashad are hanging on the walls, his daughter Sara is here, and the caterers are moving in the tables and chairs. I went to bed last night crying. Crying over his loss, his presence, the last days of his life.

But then I remember clearly that he is in Heaven. We took Dr. Rashad to church with us and he willingly accepted Christ as his Personal Savior. Thank God he did not die a Muslim, which was his former religion. As his body lies buried in the earth, his soul has the No More Tears that he believed in. He was the biggest supporter of my career. He suggested Stanford as a Critical Care program, one of the best in the country. He wrote me a letter of recommendation and hence, Stanford opened its doors to me.

Dr. Rashad and I worked on writing Anesthesiology Board Review questions, and this was his career. Entire departments of Anesthesiology would pay for their Residents to go to Dr. Rashad's Board Exam Course, and he had 100% pass rate. In Sacramento, we sat at a bar that overlooked the state capitol building. Dr. Rashad, Dr. Dunn, and I sat and wondered what we should order to drink. I didn't drink much, but I liked iced tea. So, I quietly suggested that we all have a Long Island Iced Tea......and we danced the night away :-). I was bad. But it was so fun....a night I'll never forget.

Dr. Rashad believed in my book, No More Tears. He wanted his daughter Sara, a movie producer, to do a documentary on it. Now Sara is downstairs in our home, preparing for the 4 pm Memorial. How I miss Dr. Rashad. He believed in me. He helped my career. He was a Mentor for 15 years of my life.

I always invited him over for Thanksgiving dinner, and I always put his own dish of hot peppers at his seat. :-). I visited him often during his last months of life. Took him to lunch, brought him to the house, did YT book readings with him. I am proud to say that I knew him and kept in touch with him all those years....and he was exactly like a father to me.

Now, my tears of sadness are falling as tears of joy. He was supportive of my plan: to first get my Master's, then my Ph.D. To study dysautonomia for the rest of my life.

Thank you, Dr. Rashad. I got the greatest present, the greatest gift today. Today. I needed it today. God knows. I listened to a little whisper that told me to check my email. In there, was a note posted yesterday. My acceptance as a certified graduate student in the Department of Muscle Kinesiology, the dream of my life. Thank you, Dr. Rashad. I know you are smiling down from heaven.

Thank you, Dr. Ronald G. Pearl, M.D., Ph.D., Chair, Department of Anesthesiology, Stanford University School of Medicine. You are my Mentor now, and thank you for the generous letter of recommendation you wrote on my behalf. You have now launched my career in to that which is almost too good to be true: studying in a dysautonomia lab. Who would have ever known I would end up at the same college from which I graduated?

My heart sings with joy on this day. As we remember Dr. Rashad, I will know #1 that he is in Heaven; and I will know #2 that Dr. Rashad would have been so proud of my acceptance to the program!!

I thank God for staying with me. I praise Him for His everlasting goodness. I revel in amazement that I got the letter today, the day of the Memorial. The acceptance letter is dated from yesterday, when I was out buying a new dress for today.

I will never forget those who have helped me. To all of you, you know who you are. Mother Renee, Dr. Rashad, Dr. Pearl........Dr. Myer Rosenthal, Dr. Tom Feeley, Dr. Fred Mihm......
thank you.


  1. we share your sorrow and joy.

  2. Congrats and let us know how you are doing. I am so grateful to you for using your struggles as a source of wisdom, teaching, and strength to help me. Even in the midst of a funeral and having to deal with dysautonomia, you have stood up to the principal and answered all my phone calls for help and for just being a sounding board. My son is better, my personal growth has taken leaps and bounds because of you had a part in it. I send thanks to your mentors, because they helped you to get to this point so that you are able to help so many of us. I prayed for your endeavors with the nonprofit project.


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