Dr Dork had done everything he could for Rons pain.
Ron was the rock that held his large family together. Yet, they were strong, like him. They were always polite. Always courteous. Always grateful.
Dr Dork could see Rons agony mirrored, deep within his wifes eyes. But they would both laugh and joke. On the surface.
Ron's cancer ceased to cause him much pain. He was on doses of morphine and other painkillers that would drop a horse. But once or twice a day, every day, a giants hand would grip his chest. And squeeze.
Dr Dork spent more time with Ron than any other patient, that week. He discussed it with the consultants. He explained everything to Ron, to his wife, to his children, to his older grandchildren.
It was up to Ron, to decide what to do.
Ron knew his time was short. He was completely lucid, almost all of the time.He had things to say to his family. Kind words. Wise words. He wanted to hang on, and be awake, to say these things. While he could.
To Ron, his pain was nothing in comparison.
Ron spent his last week in the unit, in this manner. Surrounded by his family. He died on a Friday afternoon. Surrounded by his family.
They held up well. They grieved, but in a quiet, dignified manner. They were effusive in their thanks of Dr Dork and the nurses.
Dr Dork went home that night, and cried silent tears.
A week later, Dr Dork recieved a gift basket from Ron's wife. Flowers, chocolates, a card. Dr Dork received cards from patients at times. Sometimes a bottle of red wine at Christmas. He had never received flowers. He placed these in a vase, at the ward entrance, where all could enjoy them. He gave the chocolates to the nurses.
He kept the card. It is one of his most treasured possessions.