RICHARD

 

 

 

     The following is a testimonial to an inspiring individual on his 85th birthday.  Richard Fahy, MD was born in Ireland and immigrated to the USA as a young physician.  He specialized in psychiatry for many years and developed a large and appreciative private practice in  Connecticut.  Like so many, he felt the call of the American West and moved to Oregon in his fifties to restart a career with the Veteran’s Administration.  He, himself a veteran of the  US Army, understood implicitly the hidden pain and disorientation that many of his military brethren suffered.  His empathy, insight and humor were easy for his patients to sense and he became a beloved figure.  Medication and humanity were his prescriptions that pulled many back from the brink of despair to regain functional and even fulfilling lives.  He later relocated to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was here that we both met, I as a family physician at the local Veteran’s outpatient clinic.

     So it was that he and his lovely wife Gail took me into their home for cordial dinners and good conversation.  Every visit was an elevated moment.  From their eclectic furnishing and art objects, to their beautiful house on the Garden City marsh overlooking the sea, there was constant delight for the eyes.  Of course the food and drink were always superb, but most of all the humor, intellectual and spiritual warmth I encountered made these times special.  Richard became a friend, confidant, colleague and mentor.  I watched as he seemed to age effortlessly without loss of ardor or engagement in life.  He drank, danced and sang as if a Zorba the Greek in true Celtic fashion.  On the night of this presentation he was impeccably dressed with his beautiful curly white hair and bright shining blue eyes testifying to his amazing vitality.  Surrounded by family and friends it was my honor to offer these few words of gratitude.

 

 

Sunrise in Ireland and a baby is born

Not in a manger

But catholic of course

Straight and upright, perhaps somewhat strange

Strong playing rugby

With one finger gone.

 

Travels in Europe

Med school in Dublin

American Army

He found a new home

And his mind expanded

Into the wonderful flower

That we have all grown to know

 

There is no other Richard

This beautifully flawed yet perfect man 

Now 85 years have passed

He has unlocked his love

All of us have felt that warmth

And many suffering brethren that cannot be here

Would attest to his insight, knowledge and cheer

 

Family, friends, and of course holy golf

Warrior, sculptor, healer at heart

He gave comfort to the injured

And they acknowledged their thanks 

I heard it myself from the veterans he helped

How they had held a banquet in his honor

Such a great testament

A rare recognition of a life well spent

 

To me he is a model 

Of life affirming power

To live in the moment

And to plan the next day

May you live 20 more years Richard

I think that’s enough

But you might correct me

And play yet another round of golf

 

We pass this way for certain but once

And where and if we go beyond

The future will reveal

So precious then are our beloved

Whom we behold before our eyes

And grasp the moments we still can touch them

The objects of such deep affection

 

Richard, we gather here tonight to demonstrate our love

With the hope our bonds will never die

 

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