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April 24, 2005, Sunday, 9 am,
I'm driving through the snow blizzard to go to the hospital to see a few patients.
I've done this almost 34 years.

We had a gorgeous spring weather for a few weeks, then
got hit with the anomalous, wintry, snow blizzard overnight.

I'm driving through the snow blizzard and am thinking of
those weeping cherry blossoms in our back yard, sadly, so cruelly, frozen overnight,
somehow, still shining their bright purplish colors through the thick snow covers,
my wife's sad face over the breakfast coffee, looking at those flowers,
which she and I waited for so long, then
my three patients in the hospital.

A 62 year old lady with end stage heart failure and renal failure,
not responding to maximum medical therapy,
who woke me up at one o'clock last night because she couldn't breathe.
She was admitted via ER and is on renal dialysis now.
She met me eleven years ago when she suddenly went into acute heart failure.
She was a most caring nurse and a mother of five children.
Her husband was much older and sick.
She had been too busy to take care of her high blood pressure until then.

An 85 year old, Italian man with heart of gold,
who had an open heart surgery twenty years ago, and
is now in the hospital, dying of end stage heart failure.
I told his two grown up sons yesterday to prepare for the worst, yet
he is more concerned about his annuals and flowers in his garden than anything else.
He's been a gardener for fifty years, and then

a 65 year old woman, who was admitted with one month old, extensive DVT
and pulmonary infarcts. Her legs are those of an elephant
She has no medical insurance and has done her best not to see a doctor to save money,
as long as possible, until she started coughing up blood.
Her husband has been seriously ill for some twenty years, and
all she cared about was her husband's health all these years.

I'm driving through the snow blizzard, and can't help but being reminded of
how fragile the flower is in this snow,
how so cruel the snow in April can be, and
how fragile this life is, and
how so cruel all these sicknesses can be.

I'm driving through the snow blizzard in April, Michigan, and
I'm thinking of the beautiful cherry blossoms in my back yard and
the three beautiful human beings, the three beautiful flames of life,
I've come to have known.
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