This morning I walked into the operatory to see a patient seated there. He pointed at one of my family pictures and asked me about the picture of my daughter and her son (which is already a year old so I need a new one). So I told him who they were, how we had come to adopt Grace into our family and a bit about the Congo. In return he told me a story.
There was a time when Nelson Mandela visited Canada. At that time he was welcomed and honoured by three leaders from Canada’s First nations. My patient had been chosen to represent his people. The opportunity to meet Mr Mandela had been one of the highlights of his life and a great honour for him.
At the time of the visit a traditional sash was presented by this gentleman to Mr. Mandela. It seems that when a sash is presented on such an occasion, the person it is given to must also be named. He bestowed on Mr. Mandela the name “Diamond.”
He told Mr Mandela that the name was chosen because his life had shone like a strong light in the world. There is no better stone that reflects the light than a diamond.
Meeting people and hearing their stories – one of the perks of my job. Most of the time they are just simple stories, often stories about fear, sometimes stories of pain, sometimes stories that make me laugh. But this story was one of the really good ones. I was honoured to have him share it with me.