One of, if not THE most revered and respected and beloved men in Tallahassee died yesterday at the age of 94. Alexander Dumas Brickler.
You see that face? That is the face of a man who delivered over 30,000 babies in his life. And one has to wonder how many births he attended, as a mentor or just...because. I have spoken about him many times and always with great reverence because I have known and respected him through infrequent but memorable interactions since 1978 and because of facts I know about him and have learned about him and because of the gentle, knowledgable ways that he has always demonstrated.
The last time I can recall actually seeing Dr. Brickler was when Lily was in labor with Owen. He was head of the midwife practice then who was taking care of my girl and although he did not do the delivery, he was there, popping in and out to check on things the way he did, dressed in scrubs and probably talking to my still-in-utero grandson in the same calm and soothing way he talked to us, but of course in the silent method of communication he used to talk to the being-born babies. The nurses claimed that he could do that. Talk to the babies before they were born.
Lily put it so well in a text today after we all got the news that he had died.
"And mom, why do I just picture his ghost self still scrubbing up every day and walking the halls of the l&d like nothing's changed?"
I think there are many, many people who will always think of him that way and honestly, if I believed in heaven, I think that Dr. Brickler's idea of it would be an endless Labor and Delivery unit with so many mothers and babies to take care of. To safely deliver the babies into their mother's arms.
I wish I had the words to truly describe how much Dr. Brickler is admired around here. I wish I had words to truly describe how proud people are to be able to say, "I'm a Brickler baby."
I used the picture that ran with the article because I love it so much.
I called the urologist today and made an appointment for Thursday. This kidney stone is giving me the same symptoms that the other one did and they are all too familiar. I do not want to wait until I have to be driven to the ER in the middle of the night seeking morphine. I am sure there will be a scan to see where the stone is now and then a plan of treatment will be made depending on the location of the little motherfucker. I am not looking forward to any of this. I am vastly unhappy about it, in fact. But it must be done. I remember how with the last stone I felt terrible for at least a month before the real pain began- the gastric problems I had, the malaise. My walk yesterday, and one I took at the beach, both gave me the same feeling of what I can only describe as "pukiness". Amazing how a stone in the kidney can affect so many other parts of the body.
Strangely enough- when I had my very first kidney stone, when I was pregnant with Jessie, I went to the hospital and before they diagnosed the stone, Dr. Brickler came in because I was pregnant, to check things out and give his opinion. As always, he was very quiet, and calm, and I distinctly remember him being there and feeling that things would be okay because...he was there. Just that. His presence.
I wonder how many women have known that same feeling when he entered the room where they were laying in travail. A feeling that all would be well because he was there.
How incredibly lucky Tallahassee has been to be the place where A.D. Brickler lived and so skillfully practiced his art and his science.
He will be sorely and deeply missed, not only by the tens of thousands of families whose lives he touched in such profound ways, but by his family for whom I wish peace and comfort in the knowledge that he will not be soon forgotten.