I've realized over the past week that I am growing exceptionally fond of my 80-year-old, retired doctor, boss. I wish I had a picture of him to show you. He has wispy white hair and wears high-top sneakers. He talks in a way that's somewhat dry, and he's never said goodbye on the telephone...he just kind of hangs up when he figures the conversation is over. But this past week I'm starting to recognize the way he cares about people. He's a protector. And I am exceptionally fond of protectors...as long as they aren't the clingy, worried type. My lifestyle tends to alarm clingy, worried type protectors...and that's a shut-down, because usually the aspects that worry them are the paths I've chosen out of love and faith.
Bud's lifestyle is probably equally "unwise" to mine...at 80 years old, he's still out organizing conventions on immigration churches, to say nothing of the book we're working on. A couple weeks ago he scratched himself and started bleeding all over the place and he just slipped out to the hospital and came back an hour later so we could do a four hour interview with one of the missionaries who helped start the hospital in Bangladesh. I joked with him on the way to the car yesterday, "So, you're going to rest in heaven, huh?" He just grinned.
I was reminded today that Bud, retired though he may be, is definitely still a doctor, though. I had a slight, slight, slight fever on Sunday. And so we had an interview on Monday and I was having a little trouble concentrating because of my cold. I apologized to Bud for not being quite with it...though in our conversation in the car on the way back from the interview we decided that the trouble concentrating had been mutual and was possibly due to our interviewee's tendency to switch subjects very quickly and then ramble about them. But, today I got a phone call from Bud--a typical 1.5 minute long one. It went something like this:
B: Umm...are you alright?
P: Yeah...I just have a cold. That's all.
B: But...is it getting better and not worse?
P: Yeah. Yeah, it's getting better.
B: Well, do you want to rest tomorrow?
P: Really, it's just a cold. I can do anything.
B: I think you'd better rest tomorrow too. We'll meet on Thursday.
P: Well...if that's when you want to meet, but really...
I don't know what it was about that short conversation that left me feeling loved. Even though I'm still sitting here thinking that a headache and sore throat do not justify a day off.