Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dr. Robert Rhoads Trostel

Just when you think you're adjusting to the status quo, something else comes along to throw you off your game.

Last week, I received a phone call telling me that my father's medical partner of more than 20 years had passed away.  He had lung cancer that had spread.  And, even though his passing was not unexpected, it still was rather sudden. 

When mother had her stroke in January, Dr. T, as I called him, and his wife Beth, were mom's first visitors.  Then when she passed away, he was quick to offer help.  He accompanied me to the funeral home, and even helped me pick out her casket.  Later, when things had calmed down, he and Beth

checked on me several times as the months passed. The three of us went out to dinner in April, and they even came back and met Juneau, Sitka, and Poquito. We parted with promises to do it again soon. I never realized that I wouldn't see him again.

I called him in May, and he talked about how he and Beth were going on a cruise down the Danube later that month. We spoke of going out to dinner when they returned. I spent the early part of June getting ready for the summer term at school, and the second half of the month dealing with new and returning students. I had my cousin visiting the last week in June, but I was thinking about calling when she returned home. Unfortunately, it was during her visit that I received the news.

The first thing that comes to mind about about Dr. T when I think of him is his flat top crew cut!  He always, always, always had one!  Maybe he picked up his unique style during his Air Force training.  I never asked either of my parents how he and my dad met.  Now, because everyone who knew is gone, I just have to speculate that they met sometime in medical school, or when one of them was a resident.  He always told me that he was in the delivery room when I was born.

However they met, I know that he was Daddy's first and only choice when he wanted to take on a partner.  At the time, daddy was one of the few OB-GYNs in Garland.  He was being run ragged--out of the house six nights out of seven--and mom insisted that he do something.  So, Dr. Trostel joined his medical practice.  They were partners from 1968 until daddy passed away in 1989.  They had similar philosophies of patient care, they never fought, they had wonderful patients, and were quite the "dynamic duo." 

Even though I didn't seem him often, I will miss his presence in my life.  Rest in peace, Dr. T.

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