Deidra came to us at the Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas not too long after she graduated from Veterinary school and declared her desire to work some relief shifts at our emergency hospital. This happens all the time, and we are happy to give enthusiastic doctors an opportunity to experience ER work. Most don’t last long; in fact we never hear from the great majority of them ever again after their first shift. It’s a tough place to work, and it is honestly difficult to impress us. Let me tell you how Deidra impressed us.
She was working a relief shift for us and was presented with a patient who was dying from a severe kidney problem. I don’t remember the specifics, but I know that if this patient was going to survive, one of the kidneys was going to have to be removed. Immediately. Deidra did not have to do this surgery. She was doing part-time relief work for us. We do not expect nor require part-time relief doctors to do these kinds of things. There were plenty of other fulltime doctors around with more experience. But she had been working alongside us long enough that we trusted her skills and talent. Deidra had never done this surgery before; I don’t think she had ever even seen one done before. But she wheeled that patient into surgery and performed her first nephrectomy and the patient recovered uneventfully. You see, we didn’t choose Deidra so much as Deidra chose us. Someone who shows that kind of confidence and talent is impressive indeed. So we stepped out of her way and she immediately became an integral part of our practice. Deidra was a sight to behold on the floor of the ER. She could be stabilizing a ketotic diabetic while she was finishing up suturing a dog back together after being torn to pieces in a dog fight. She could do that while adjusting her orders on a liver failure cat. All the while receiving laboratory information on a sick parrot which presented on the bottom of its cage. And in the middle of all this, when a technician rolled in a new patient on a gurney and exclaimed, “Need a Doctor here!” and it was Deidra who would step up and declare “I got it!” And if you were the owner of that poor broken pet, you were glad indeed that Dr. Deidra Blackmon got it.
There are things which can’t be taken away from us. Those of us lucky enough to be in the same room with her, we breathed the same air she breathed. We have felt her embrace (Deidra was a big hugger). We have seen the beauty of her smile and have shared in her laughter.
My understanding of grace is that it is not something you receive because you deserve it. You receive it as a gift. We have all benefitted from her gifts, given freely by her. To us. We are better people because of it and the world is a better place because of her presence among us.
There is a poem written by E.E. Cummings, and with apologies to him for slightly modifying his work, it seems so appropriate to remember Deidra with these words.
I carry your heart with me (I carry it in
my heart) I am never without it (anywhere
I go you go; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing)
i fear no fate, i want
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
And the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
2700 West State Hwy 114 | Grapevine, TX 76051 | 817-410-CARE (817-410-2273)