Tribute To Dr. Sally Gatchalian
My friendship with Sally that spanned more than forty years gave me the distinct privilege of knowing her intimately.
Sally and I became acquainted in the late 70s when we were both young pediatricians, and fresh out of training as infectious disease specialists. Over the next decades our friendship was tested and strengthened by triumphs and downfalls, both in our professional and personal lives, as we shifted from being naïve doctors to senior citizens.
That Sally was an excellent pediatrician, professor, lecturer, and mentor, was well known to a lot of people. As her friend, however, I will remember her for so much more than her professional achievements.
Sally was a devoted, wife, mother, daughter, and sister. Even when her children were already grown, she would fret whenever Gayle or Geoffrey would be out of the house. Ruby Rodriguez was not the only recipient of her caring and loving ways. Sally was a devoted and dutiful sister to all her siblings.
Sally was generous, not only with material things, but also with her time. She spent hours, mentoring students and trainees, imparting words of wisdom and sharing her expertise. She was always helpful to her colleagues and staff.
I will always remember Sally for her unpretentious ways, dozing off in the middle of conferences and meetings, fanning herself with her skirt whenever it was hot, and licking her fingers whenever she ate her favorite chicken barbeque. Sally was passionate, vibrant, and full of joie de vivre, but most of all Sally was prayerful. She always asked to be blessed before a lecture, imploring the Lords guidance and wisdom. No matter how great she had become as a physician, Sally was first and foremost a humble servant of God.
I will terribly miss you, Sally, but I know you are in a more wonderful place.
Rest in peace, Sally.
Vaya con Dios, mi amiga.
Nagsisimula pa lang ako noon
Isang baguhang nabigyan ng pagkakataon
Nagmamasid sa mga taong tinitingala
Umaasang isang araw sa akin maghimala
Kakaiba ang iyong ningning
Busilak at buo
Ang iyong halakhak na iba ang taginting
Tatak mong totoo
Sa pagdaan ng panahon mas nakilala kita
Nakita ang dahilan kung bakit ka naiiba
Naramdaman ang tunay mong pagkatao
Buhay ng marami tunay mong binago
Magkaiba man ang ating pinanggalingan
Pareho naman ang ating huling pangalan
Maraming nagtanong kung tayoy magkadugo
Ang lagi mong biro magkamag-anak tayong pinagtagpo
Lagi kang magiliw sa lahat
At ito ay lubos kong ipinagpapasalamat
Sa iyo ang lahat ay pantay dapat
Sa iyo ang lahat dapat ay may sapat
Maraming araw tayong nagkasama
Sa tuwa, lungkot, hirap at ginhawa
Sa lahat ng ating pinagdaanan
Hindi mo nakalimutang ako ay pahalagahan
Sa iyo ko natutunan na ako ay dapat ako
Tinanggap mo ang aking pagkatao ng wala kang binago
Laging handang magbigay sa akin ng tapat na payo
Malalim, matalim at tunay na tumitimo
Hindi ko na mabilang ang ating mga talastasan
May mahaba, may maikli at madalas biglaan
Kahit kailan hindi naging mahirap para sa akin
Ang ikaw ay tulungan, paglingkuran at sundin
Hanggang sa huling mga sandali na ikaw pala ay may dinaramdam
Hindi ka man lang napagod o nagpakita ng paglamlam
Huling bilin mo pa ay sulatan ko ang lahat ng nakikipaglaban
Sa isang karamdamang, iyo palang magiging katapusan
Dalhin mo ang aking dasal at walang hanggang pagmamahal
Sa pagharap mo sa Poong Maykapal
Baunin mo ang aking pag-alala at pagtangi Doktora Sally
Hanggang sa tayo ay magkasamang muli
Edwin V. Rodriguez, MD 04102020