“You’re so smart!” her teacher said because she could read her ABC’s not only forwards, but backwards.
By sixth grade Juliana was the “school genius.” After she completed an IQ test, the results were given to her parents in whispered joy by the principal, with Juliana sitting right there. No one ever told her the results, but her parents’ faces shone like the sun.
So of course at 16 years of age Juliana decided to pursue a medical degree. By 27 she was an MD. And now, at 39, she was already a renowned gerontologist. She’d chosen the field because her mentor told her that gerontology was the place to be because of all the aging baby boomers.
But truth be told, Juliana studied gerontology because her favorite person in the world was her Granny Iris. GI (as Granny laughingly called herself) was Juliana’s best friend, and Juliana was determined that her best friend would be healthy and active for a long, long time.
GI wasn’t a particularly nice woman. In fact, she was blunt and cantankerous and at times much too truthful. But Granny Iris was the only family member who didn’t act as if Juliana walked on water.
“Don’t get arrogant. You’re only one of many smart people.” GI repeated to Juliana when she was 10, and 25, and just last year when Juliana was offered a prime position at New York’s most prestigious hospital.
“You are not God,” Granny Iris would remind Juliana when she’d saved an 81-year-old from a heart attack, and diagnosed dementia early enough for a 66-year-old matriarch to find the right resources for herself.
Juliana agreed with her Granny most times: she wasn’t the only smart cookie in the jar. And she tamped down her arrogance, even toward the insurance administrators who tried to dissuade her of necessary medical procedures.
But she disagreed with GI on one thing; in many ways, Juliana was God. She cured people – even old people. She helped the ill feel better, and she prescribed the right medicines for the right diseases. She. Saved. Lives.
But tonight, when her eighth patient in three hours died despite her steadfast ministrations using all of her skills as a brilliant doctor, Juliana finally realized that her Granny Iris was right.
She was not God.
She called her Granny in tears. “The Corona is king of the world,” she exclaimed. “I’m useless. I’ve wasted my time being a doctor. I…”
But Juliana stopped her self-centered one-way dialogue when she realized that her GI was trying to respond, but only producing long hacking coughs.
But not in herself.
Based on the prompt: Write a story about someone discovering something new about themselves. What have you discovered recently about yourself?