Martin, Louise

Ahhh - the wondrous and inexplicable joy of long term involvement with local community general practice obstetrics :

I have just come home from a lovely uncomplicated vaginal birth of a wee baby girl, duly embraced by both of her young First Nation parents. Two (newly) great-grandparents, three or four (newly) grandparents, plus assorted (newly) great-aunts, aunts, uncles, cousins, as well as a few trusted friends, were present throughout the labour and birth, supporting this mom and dad, and welcoming this new baby. The infant's late great-great grandmother - who had worked very closely with one of my now-retired senior GP colleagues - was named and honoured in the delivery room.

The newly-a-great grandmother and the great-grandfather seemed familiar to me, and she reminded me that, when I had first come to Squamish ( as a new grad starting general practice thirty years prior), I had been their family doctor for several years. Her two daughters - who were both present for the birth, as new grandma and new great-aunt - had been 1 and 3 years old when I had first met them. Although they had moved away and I had not seen them for a long while, I do remember this family with affection. After the birth, the newly-a-great-aunt took me aside to let me know that, when she had heard me speaking in the case room with the new-mom-to-be , she remembered my voice from when she had been a small child in my care.

What a humble privilege and honour it is ... to be reminded that I have a small but respected place in this lovely family's story. From having had some amount of direct involvement with four generations of this aboriginal family, I receive a sense of being grounded, in a quiet , gentle way, to their sacred continuity of ancestry and belonging here in this place. Likewise, it is a quiet honour to understand that I too am part of the continuity of medical care in this, my chosen community : my retired colleague (referred to by the great-grandmother ) was the first medical doctor to come to this area over sixty years ago. He was an important mentor to me during my first two decades of practice. Quite frail and elderly now, he remains a respected senior member of our local medical community.

Theme: Community | Communauté
Theme: Family | Famille
Theme: Relationships | Relations

Stories in Family Medicine | Récits en médecine familiale [Internet] Mississauga ON: College of Family Physicians of Canada. 2008 --.




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