The Grand Old Lady

Dr. Lucas Michael Gregory walked out of Mercy General Hospital and headed for his parking spot. When he reached his BMW he paused and looked back up at the building, he called The Grand Old Lady. She was that to him as well as a second home. He had come here fresh from medical school at the age of 24. Two grueling years of internship had earned him the offer of a lowly physician on Staff. He had accepted and had no desire to leave.

Luke’s first experience with the miracle of childbirth had settled his life’s work forever in his heart. He stood in as the lonely observer – assistant. When that tiny body came forth and the attending physician handed her to him and the nurse to clean, weigh, and measure all he could think of was the Psalmist’s words: «I am fearfully and wonderfully made!» She was perfect in every way and as he carried her back to her laughing, crying, new parents, he knew this was his life’s work. At that moment, he understood more of God’s power of creation than any book he had read or any lecture he had ever heard!

Now, after 12 years of being a part of The Doctors, the Administration had chosen Luke to be Chief of Staff in the new Pediatric wing. As he thought about this, he believed Angel’s Wings was his hope for its future. This Grand Old Lady had been the cornerstone of his career and life.

Here Luke had found his wife of seven years. His Kate as he always thought of her. They met in one of the Childrens wards where she and several others volunteered to entertain the children. The girls called themselves The Tinkerbelle’s and laughingly told him they just «Tinkered around and rang everybody’s Bell.»

Luke had finished attending to one of his young patients who had taken a header out of his grandfather’s hayloft. The boy was more concerned about his parents’ anger at his disobedience than his broken arm and dislocated shoulder.

The parents were on the way back from their first vacation in 10 years and he had spoiled it. They were due in at any minute so Luke sent the grieving grandparents on ahead to the Hospitality House. He calmed the parents when they arrived and hoped he was finished for the night.

Then Kate and the Tinker’s walked out of the childrens wing and she handed him a caricature drawing of himself and his young patient. It was good. It made him laugh and then he realized how much he needed to laugh…

When he arrived at the cafeteria, he saw Kate and one of the Tinkers at a table. They called for him to join them. Luke sat down and Tinker #1 offered to get the coffee. She asked, «Sludge or Pond Scum?» When Kate saw his puzzled look she interpreted the question for him, «regular or de-cafe.» He took the Pond Scum and laughed. It felt good to relax and he realized how much he enjoyed just «being».

Luke had mostly focused on his work up until this point in his life. After Tinker #1 left, Kate and he had another cup of Pond Scum. They just sat, and talked. Then he looked at his watch and realized they had been enjoying each other’s company for nearly an hour.

«I have an early morning appointment,» he said. «I›ll walk you back to your car. Where are you parked?» Luke opened her car door and looked at her. He saw big green eyes with lashes like fans. Kate had a smiling mouth, a little cute blade of a nose, and hair like polished Cherry wood.

Suddenly he knew he wanted to know her better…

He looked down as she settled herself in the seat and he said, «I want to see you again Kate O›Brien! My hours are crazy but I do have some time to call my own!»

She grinned up at him and replied, «Good, because I want to see you again too…Dr. Luke Gregory. So when you get some of that ‹free› time to call your own give me a call.»

She wrote her phone number down on a sheet of notebook paper and gave it to him!

His heart had belonged to her from that moment on and remained so to this day. Luke walked over to his own car and started the drive to the other luxury he had afforded himself. He realized this was the first time he had stopped and taken stock of his life. His career and love of learning had been his only priority up until now.

He had been born to wealth and privilege with godly parents who taught him his greatest wealth was in his own personal relationship with God through Christ. These were the True Riches; he knew, without a doubt, and he lived it.

Luke had allowed himself two luxuries and cherished them both, a good car, and the Family Suite at the Hospitality House. His family owned several Hospitality Houses and Marinas around the world. His great Grandfather’s motto was Land and Sea! They had paid off beyond his wildest dreams, and remained family owned.

Luke did not know how or why The Family Business had never interested him. When he told his father, he had chosen his own field: Medicine, his father replied, «Son, God did not put you here on earth to follow anyone but Him. His blessing and ours are yours!»

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