June 8, 2008 – It was a humid sunny summer day in Bradenton, Florida. It was the day I received the medical degree for which I had so diligently prepared. 8 years of sacrifice in higher education all culminated in me crossing the stage as our student affairs director June Flaim announced to the packed Manatee covention center, “Dr. Samuel Urick the Third”. With my doctoral academic garb, doctoral cap securely fasted to my head with my gold tassel to the left, I made my way up to the stage to receive my diploma from Dr. John Ferretti. I then received my doctoral hood – I stood before the preclinical dean, Wayne Krueger, PhD (who passed several weeks ago), and allowed him to “hood me”. I can still remember that day as if it were yesterday, not 7 years ago today.
That night I walked along Siesta Key beach and the first thing I did was thank God for helping to allow my dream of becoming a physician. I looked up to the start-lit summer night time sky, and told God “I don’t know what you have in store for me, but I have to trust in your plans for me. I will help people, some will like me, some will not,help me to be patient”.
Well, lets return to today – the 7 year anniversary. My work day started off rainy and dreary. I had a lot of my mind and any physician will tell you that they dread Monday mornings – the overwhelming amount of phone calls, trying to get into work mode, etc.
I returned home this evening a bit fatigued. But then it happened. Lily my love was babbling. She started to say “mama”. I was a bit envious I have to admit. I have been her father for a little over 9 months but I wanted so desperately to hear her utter those words….and she chose today to do so. My darling must have known the stress I had been experiencing the past few days. But on her foam puzzle piece mat, she looked at me and said “dada” “dada”. My day was complete
Yes, from the age of four could not wait to become a physician, to hear my name as “Dr. Urick”. I always wondered what it would sound like. But I never would have imagined 7 years ago this day that I would have a beautiful daughter who would utter “dada”. Thousands have addressed me as doctor, but today being called Dada was music to my ears. It is something I’ll never forget.
Yes, I earned my medical degree…and that daddy degree…yes, its still a work in progress.
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