My sister has sent me a letter reporting on an old friend of mine. It enclosed a copy of his wife's writing submitted to some journal. He had worked as a neurosurgeon and, with his firm belief in Christianity, had been served as a doctor staff of JOCS;Japan Overseas Medical Cooperative Service in a few developing countries in Asia. Three or four years after he had been assigned as a professor at his mother school, the faculty of medicine in the Tokyo University, he has been found to suffer from the early onset Alzheimer's disease.
I have known him at a church where I used to attend in my late teenage through early twenties days. Being 2 or 3 years older than me, he has just started learning medicine. He was a very intelligent person confident in himself. He has been kind to me since I was turning my way from engineering to medicine those days. I could not forget a circle for reading after the church on Sunday afternoon, where both he and I joined together. We have read together such as a work by Bonhoeffer. A quiet and intellectually stimulating time was shared with him and the others. He has taught me how to prepare for the entrance exam for med. universities as well.
We have worked at the same med school hospital near by herein '80s. Since both of us belonged to different departments, we scarecely met and talked each other. Whenever we met on corridor etc, we exchanged a few words with smile. One time, fallen on icy road in a mid winter, my father has got pretty severe subdural hematoma dut to trauma on head. He and his colleagues have eagerly treated him. My father has recovered without serious sequelle thanks to him and the other doctors. I am still thankful to him. As written earlier, he has come back to his mother school as a professor. I guess he has had many projects to conduct as a boss there. But the illness has deprived him of that chance.
About 6 years ago, he has publicized of his own illness through a newspaper. I was surprised to see him doing that. It could never be done without his courage. With his wife's loyal support, he seemed to have made speeches as a patient of the diseas at various places. The above mentioned writing by her told me he had had the illness gradually progressed and had lost chances for most of the social activities. Since he has been a man of independence on the side to help the others, he seemed to have difficulty to be helped by the others. It seems God might have him learn how to be helped by the others, as his wife wrote.
I was shocked to read her sentence. I should have visited him before . Why does God give such a trial to such a good person? Why him but not me? I might ask his wife if I could do anything for him.