He wore snakeskin boots and giant belt buckles. His house was full of ivory and gold and quartz. His salt and pepper hair smelled strong of cologne. His dark skin resembled our leather recliner. He always came over bearing mangoes and beautiful ceramic gifts for my sisters and I. His thick Indian accent was inimitable and his laugh was contagious. His 89 year old little body was a powerhouse. Short, stocky, and full of life, he was a successful opthomalogist. He refused to ever stop seeing patients until he was completely unable to work. He was my father's mentor, his partner, and his best friend. He started their practice decades before my father was born. He loved our family more than anything, but we were never allowed to call him "Chris." He was Dr. Deen. He was one of the first people to hold us as newborns. He danced at every Bat Mitzvah, celebrated every birthday, and never missed a beat. He had an iPhone before I did. He has never had anything alcoholic to drink. He raised his grandsons. He was definitely the coolest 89 year old around. He never stopped running.
Until this weekend.
He wasn't feeling too well, so he checked himself into the immediate care clinic at the building in which he worked. They examined him, ran some tests, and put him in a room because he tested positive for Pneumonia. He figured it was nothing and wasn't worried at all. He tried to sleep it off and get better as soon as possible.
Now he's in the ICU and is having great trouble with his lungs.
My dad said he's not getting better. He visited Dr. Deen multiple time throughout the past couple days and I haven't seen him so sad since his own grandfather passed away.
Seeing people like Dr. Deen grow old and sick and sad makes me feel older than ever. Dr. Deen was always around, but life is short and people pass on. I am older too. My parents are growing older. My sisters are no longer cute little kids and my biggest worries are not about petty things anymore. Dr. Deen is living proof of living life to its fullest. He teaches a good lesson to everyone about how to take every minute you have, do what you love, and be satisfied in the end.
I am not a very spiritual person, but if you could include Dr. Deen in your prayers tonight, it'd mean a ton to my family and his.