Loveseat, for only you and me. I sat next to you. Tender fingers ruffled my hair. I closed my eyes. My right ear rested on your chest. Fascinating rhythmic sounds. Your heartbeats. Intrigued. Eyes twinkled, and mouth agape. A worthy discovery, at age of five. We exchanged smiles. You pressed my head firmly to your chest. It quickens. Enthralling sounds of your heart. Perplexed by the increased rate, I exclaimed, “Mom, I heard sounds!” My first patient. First heart examination.
That was how it started. Daily heart examinations. It was you my mother. Who else could? Only you chose for me. My profession. A heart doctor. But first, your son.
“My son listened to my heart,” you said to your friends every Christmas. We exchanged smiles. On departure, instead of smiles, we cried. You wiped my tears.
I held your hand. Lowered my ear to your chest. No heartbeats. You left me. Twenty-one years ago. I cried alone. My tears never dried.
Just a minute! I still smile, each time I listen to heartbeats.
No more tears. Only smiles for you, my mother.
Fidelis O Mkparu, MD., FACC.
December 14, 2014