Daddy's Retirement

Maybe you’ve heard me talk about my daddy before. In my journals or our book. Every girl loves and is proud of her daddy I suppose, but mine is extra special.

For 44 years he has been helping people learn to walk again, or how to play sports again, or how to begin a new life after major surgery. He was in the first graduating class of physical therapists from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the first and only administrator of the rehabilitation department of our hospital, one of the very first doctors of physical therapy in Mississippi, then my big brother followed in his footsteps and became one too.

My whole life, I’ve grown up knowing more than most kids should about the human spine, the ligaments in an ankle, how referred pain from a shoulder or neck can cause pain in unexpected places. I thought his clinic was a playground of enormous rubber medicine balls and padded tables made just for me to climb on. Ben went to that clinic to ask daddy’s blessing before he proposed to me. And today we celebrated that 44 year career spent entirely at our community hospital, a kind of second home to my family.

In a few days he will leave for the last time and go home and get his tomato plants ready for the summer. This is what I’ve been lucky enough to experience as his daughter, after meeting hundreds of his former patients throughout the years: doctors save lives, but therapists give us quality of life. ❤️ If y’all see Daddy around town this week, give him a pat on the back.

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