I had the distinct honor and privilege of being the Keynote Speaker for Lawndale Christian Health Center’s Annual Providers Retreat with over 125 clinical providers and their guests at Hyatt in Oak Brook. Being in the presence of these physician healers truly encouraged my heart as I shared with them what do healers do when they are “tired?”
Being with my Sister Doc, Daisy Dowell, Clinical Director, Lawndale Christian Health Center Homan Square and an I Am Abel Foundation Mentor, warmed my heart in ways unmanageable. Both daughters of Englewood, we dared to dream that we could climb up and out from where we were to return to our communities as physician healers. Our heart was always to serve and our motives pure. The barriers to our dreams, both real and imagined were so magnanimous I for one at times thought I would never make it. I became discouraged and quite frankly “tired.”
I lost track of my dear sister Daisy after college. She reminded me that we first met when I and my sister friend Donna shared with her Christ while on the campus of DePaul University and her a student at Loyola. I had hoped that her dream to serve would one day come true but didn’t even know If mines would.
After a long journey of my own (that’s another testimony) I had finished Medical School after starting it with three babies under the ages of three years old. I had finish with accolades and was in my 3rd year of residency at the University of Illinois, when on the unit walked this petite young woman with a short white coat. Was it a dream - an apparition? It had been 17 years. Yes indeed. It was my fellow dreamer; my Englewood sister - Daisy. She was a medical student on a clerkship rotation. It was a reunion of tears. “She Made It!! We were once church girls in college. Praying for the sick and living at bible study. That was our life. I was a singer as well. When we weren’t in church we were talking about our dream of becoming doctors. Sadly, neither of us had mentors. We knew what we wanted to be but had no clue how to “be it.” We had taken the long walk around for sure.
I realized when I saw her walk in that afternoon that like me, her dream of becoming a physician had at one point gravely stalled but I was nonetheless elated because we were both in fact now “here.” We were both mothers and wives at this point with full-time lives living dreams that had been deferred. Daisy had become a science teacher for the Chicago Public Schools while I was across town working in a Microbiology lab while working towards my Master’s Degree in Public Health Epidemiology and Biostatistics. But one day - our paths would converge. One day, after years of hard work and challenges, her dream deferred became a dream come true. She made it and I made it too. On opposite sides of the city, our Lord was working out his perfect plan in our lives. The vision - which had been for an appointed time was finally manifested. We were both here. Now we both serve - not just as doctors but as physician healers; physicians committed to community service, advocacy and activism.
Truly God has called us for such a time as this. I am inspired and more than anything I am grateful.
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings like eagles, they shall run and not get weary, they shall walk and not faint. Wait, I say on the Lord.” Isaiah 40:31 vs.
Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 vs.
Listen to Dr Daisy’s testimony “Beauty for Ashes” https://vimeo.com/127522814. Her inspiring story is one of true heroism and survival crouched in humility. Now she is leading the way for others including her daughter who is a pediatric intensive care physician in Milwaukee. Won’t He do it?