Upon making the decision to begin writing this blog in 2012, my thoughts and motivations were fairly simple. I would write for myself, share my thoughts, my ideas, and utilize this medium as an outlet for recording the passions of the moment. At the time, I wasn’t really concerned with who read it, or even if anyone would read it; it was simply going to be my outlet. In the intervening years my number of followers has risen, and it has been a thrill hear the stories of how this blog has helped others in our business. It’s always a good feeling when, at a vision conference, someone whom I’ve never met approaches to share how valuable they find my work. And just so we’re clear, I don’t share this to offer myself a virtual “pat on the back”; not in the slightest. Instead, when considering someone sees value in my ramblings, I hope my humble gratitude and disbelieving amazement shines through. In strange ways and at odd times, perhaps even as an act of divinity, I’m often reminded of why it is so important to stay true to my plan. I will always hope my readers find my content important or useful, but in the end, I’m writing for me.
A tradition during COVD’s Awards Luncheon is the warm remembrances of those lost the previous year; a moment which is always touching, emotional, and heartfelt. This year in particular, though, the reflection was especially difficult for me to view, as it shared the loss of two people with whom I’d developed a bond. Neither Robin Vreeland’s nor Danielle Chason’s destiny was of their own choosing. They did not seek, nor did they deserve the untimely deaths which ultimately became their fate. Although it would be easy to wallow in these moments, the loss of Robin and Danielle, along with so may others throughout the years, demonstrate the importance of fighting on and showing strength as our profession moves forward.
The exam lanes of heaven are too crowded with the angels of optometry. They are our doctors, our patients, our therapists, and our friends. The exam lanes of heaven are too crowded with our angels. Yet every time we lose someone near to us in this business, perhaps questioning whether our own capacity for moving forward my be forever impacted, we look out to our Vision Therapy family and recognize our capacity for overcoming challenge may well be limitless. There are many future patients who have yet to reach us, for whom we have to be prepared. It’s been said the truest measure of strength is in how one rises to master the difficult moments of life, and although Robin and Danielle had an individual level of strength, their truest legacy resides in how we honor them by carrying on in the traditions of strength, compassion and love which they both shared and demonstrated so beautifully.
This is a time for moving forward, together, as we reach for the stars. We must take on the patients who challenge us, and help them find great achievement in all aspects of life. That is the one and only way we honor the memories of those who came before us, while still paving the way for the superstars yet to arrive. My guess is that’s how both Robin and Danielle would have wanted it…