The saddest patient I ever had was dying of AIDS, before we knew what was going on. Her family was afraid of her, and much of the staff.
Truth be told, I was a little bit scared, too, but was so deep into a ward full of children dying back in the early 90s that I figured if it was that contagious, I was doomed as well.
So I spent a lot of time with her.
And I did a lot of things to her that hurt her anyway.
And now as I slowly descend the same arc she traveled too quickly, as we all are traveling, I think of her.
Her name was Daphne.
I can blather on about how I learned from her, how she was heroic, how what we learned from her helped us help other children later.
But that’s all noise.
The Christmas story is a powerful one, and part of its power is the juxtaposition of a baby and a fate we know too well.
I am not sure what the point to this story is–maybe there is no point.
But I know this much–what we do not do matters as much as what we do.