The greatest generation, heaven, and nothing to do with prostate cancer.

I absolutely loved my sometimes imperfect mother. I don’t care about this or that or stuff my father said as to why he divorced her and ran off with a “hussy” to Alaska as my grandmother described the situation. She smoked, quit college, joined the Coast Guard during WWII and then had five boys and as I remember about 5 miscarriages because my father was Catholic.(Obviously not practicing.)

Then I become a urologist and when I tell my mother my decision to do a residency in it she says, ” Ye god John…do you know what they do?” Loved it.

Loved it when one time we were at her home with our children when they were young and my oldest son Clay acted out a bit at the dinner table and I took him away to an area near the dining room, the telephone chair, and my mother followed. Clay was about 5 at the time. (Obviously I was taking things a bit too seriously.)

No sooner do I begin to mildly scold Clay for his behavior than my mother appears and takes Clay’s hand away from me and begins to go back to the table.

She looks at me with all the rage and “You don’t f with me John” type of look on her face and says, “Lay off!”

I did. I loved it. She could do no wrong (for the most part) with me. Loved Jennie Cooper.

So as a result of being a urologist I see lots of older males. Love em! Most have worked very hard all their lives, many served in War World II, most all have had a very varied working career. I love them, my staff loves them and they deserve ever little bit that the Government gives them in terms of Medicare or Veteran benefits. Truly the greatest generation. I am honored to be of service to these men and as well the women. I must say the men who served tend to get my attention. It is not uncommon for them to come to their appointment with a hat on that says where they served. It serves as a conversation piece and a point of pride with them. I marvel at them.

I asked one guy in his eighties, “Where did you serve?”

“Doc I had a good life. Was a fighter pilot in the Pacific theater, then served in Japan with McArthur, and then with the Defense Dept. in Washington for 3o years. I have been truly blessed.”

I have several patients that landed on D-Day. One that wrote a book about “Flying the hump” and another whose book is about being at the First Shot in Pearl Harbor and at the Last Shot of the War on an island in the Pacific. Good stuff. It  is amazing to see an otherwise appearing old man, frail and then using your mind’s eye to see them in their prime.

I’d take care of these guys all day long and blessed to have them in my practice and lucky that Urology sees more of this age and sex than most specialties.

The above video is a gentleman who happened to mention he loved writing poetry.

“Can I hear one?” I asked.

He then recited the above from heart and then I got permission to record and share.


2 Replies to “The greatest generation, heaven, and nothing to do with prostate cancer.”

  1. Good story and who could not love the poem? I, too, have a practice that deals primarily with the elderly, and I often see battle-scared patients whose WWII stories are quite touching; often reminding me of my uncle, Nat, a B24 pilot who we lost after 4 years and 30 missions overseas. That said, my comment concerns recurring questions that pop into my head every time I encounter one of these veterans: What are their elderly former enemies doing in similar situations? Does the German or Japanese prostate patient wear any WWII reminders to his urologist’s office? Are these foreign soldiers seen as local heroes in their own communities? Are they their countries “greatest generation”‘? Do their doctors feel a special concern and admiration for these patients as I do about mine? Can anyone shed light on these questions?
    Jack Brown


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: