***with special thanks to Linda Taggatz, “go for it” she says, who is continually urging for me to use my mind for some inspired creative fun, here …and as I say: for something other than math, which I am “no good at”***






* the challenge was as to how Dr. Kelly Brackett’s thoughts were before, during or after he operated on the man with the live grenade lodged in his abdomen…I chose to use only one thought hinting ‘as to the before’ {as it started out as a nice day, with nothing out of the ordinary}…  none during the surgery {except to say that he recognized that he did what he was trained for as a faithful surgeon at the time}… and all other thoughts are of the past situation itself, its effects on him, the wake of thoughts as it ‘passes on’, and its future use as an experience of life *


















I’ll see you tomorrow, they said, Dr. Kelly Brackett thought, as he began his drive home.  His thoughts went directly to the episode that had highlighted his whole days work, not in the sense that one life is more special than another’s, but for a reason he would never forget.  He cared for all his patients equally, even though he may not agree with some of the things that had caused some of them to become patients in the first place.


No, this was highlighted for another reason…due to its serious effect on the lives of many, it had commanded his attention in a far different way than his usual work.  He, Dr. Kelly Brackett had his own life and many lives in the palms of HIS OWN HANDS, and one wrong slip COULD HAVE TAKEN many others with him.  The rarity of this event being in his life, or ever again, stuck in his mind.  He continued to ponder this strange phenomenon that had now become part of who he was… tomorrow will probably never equal a situation such as I experienced with this matter today, yet, tomorrow has been highly benefited in ways I may never know, here on earth, because of it.


Tomorrow, that new day, a new hope, a new way to go.  A time to work towards seeing our hopes and dreams.  A second chance to right some wrongs, to help heal what is wounded and fix what is broken.  Not only in the physical, but also in the emotional areas.  He knew that this last thought applied directly to himself, and STOPPED here, for a FEW SECONDS, in his mind.  He KNEW that sometimes he and Dixie had their moments, as he thought of this and smiled.  He smiled…ashe KNEW and HAD SEEN FOR HIMSELF that NEW freshness and NEW growth always came when he least expected it.  As he approached the familiar area of his place, and saw it come into view, he realized that this new growth was precious and important to him.  He never always said it, but somehow Dixie just seemed to know.



New growth, he continued thinking, this is what happened to me today.  I never expected this, and I didn’t even THINK as it happened, EXCEPT FOR HOW I NEEDED TO SET UP THINGS TO HANDLE IT AND WHO WOULD ASSIST…once I was there, I just did what I was trained for.  By living through this, and bringing others through it…other’s who is a SENSE were just volunteers, as some of them went BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY…I seem to have grown in some way.  I am not sure exactly how, YET.


What would have happened if no one had wanted to risk assisting me?  Who could blame them.  They may have wanted to keep their chances of living TODAY, and be free to help so many others, TOMORROW.  MY whole life’s training to help many would have ended also.  The world would STILL continue on, but WITHOUT my work being part of it.  Once today is over, tomorrow DOES come.



 Sometimes it just doesn’t work that way for everyone…sometimes THEIR tomorrow is somewhere else that we can’t see, AND depending on just what that outcome is, only THAT person will know, until we all meet up in that great beyond.  Well, Kel, as he continued on, he spoke in silent thought to himself, as if he was a trusted true friend… by the grace of God, using these skills of yours, and HIS perfect timing, a situation was avoided and a man will have a tomorrow HERE. Many lives were on the line, not just the man himself, and they will have a tomorrow also.  He began now to recognize the signs of a familiar friend, the headache, his occasional visitor when he worked too hard, and he now knew he was THINKING too hard.  He rubbed his head a bit, took a deep breath and let out a deep soft sigh.  But this is WAY over you head isn’t it Kel.










Kel parked his car, and began to notice a familiar smell in the air.  Hmmm, smells like rain, he thought.  There was a slight breeze in the air, along with the smell, and a few dark clouds off a ways in the distance.  Kel knew what they would soon bring.  Thunder, the noise that recognizably denotes finished power, as it explodes through the air.  The bearing witness of the lightening bolt that went before it.  It struck a chord in his mind, and pulled him back into his previous thoughts.  The thoughts of the man he had operated on that day.  The man with the live grenade lodged in his abdomen.  The power that was lodged in the man, it could have exploded forth today. 


Nice of the rain to make its presence known NOW, and not earlier, Kel marveled at YET ANOTHER miracle.  Such a perfect match.  The day had started just as any other…fresh new day…but something was looming off in the distance something that I did not see or feel, or smell in the air, Kel thought to himself.  But SOMEONE KNEW OF IT, before I did, and you and I know quite rightly, Kel, that it wasn’t the man himself, the person who put the call through, or the emergency squad.


Kel looked up to the sky above, the ever present heavens and the infinity of it all, to the human mind.  Kel spoke with a deep hushed reverence in his voice, with kindness and said,  “Yeah… YOU KNEW… didn’t You, and for some reason, at this place in time, YOU KNEW I WAS THE MAN YOU WANTED FOR THIS JOB.”  Kel looked down at the ground, and then around at the surroundings, and noticed that the breeze had picked up a bit.  There was a bit of excitement in the air, and it was a bit cooler.  His thoughts anchored themselves down a bit, and his mood changed, as he walked towards the door, to let himself in.  He remembered the earlier excitement of his own, in the pit of his stomach, and almost felt a bit nauseous.  The shutting of the door seemed to stave it off.  


It didn’t stave off his thoughts, though.  It didn’t HAVE to be HERE, or NOW, it could have happened in another town, with some other man, and some other doctor, on any other day.  And, it’s a given, that during times of war, other places and other times, doctors have seen these things more than my mind could comprehend at this time.  Dixie even knows that.  But it WAS me, Kel.  I am just ME…  a doctor, fighting for lives, in a different way, in a different kind of war.  In our emergency room, here at Rampart General, facing them one by one, I am just trying to give each individual the time and care each needs, and do my very best.


I just NEVER EXPECTED, that from ONE SURGERY, that I would have SO MANY LIVES in my hands at one moment in time, OR that I would EVER have to come face to face with that responsibility. As I am MORE responsible, then the assistants at hand, I was the one to ultimately cause failure or success.  A responsibility, that I MYSELF, did not in the true sense REALLY have the power to uphold.  A responsibility of those trusting me for something that maybe was NOT MINE to deliver.  There was the patient and the four of us, and even quite possibly, the two bomb squad members, and Dr. Kelly Brackett, me…I had their lives in my hands. 



He heard the bits of thunder, still in the distance, slowly on its way.  The sky was darkening.  He knew storms could be good or bad.  He also knew that depending on the outcome, of it’s having past by, is generally the way you can tell.  Kel lay down on the sofa, not even bothering to take off his jacket or tie.  He closed his eyes, and finally began to relax.  He felt all his muscles adjust into comfort.  It felt SO GOOD, that he even rejected the notion to kick off his shoes.  This on-coming storm didn’t look so bad, he thought…but then…THEY can be SOME of the worst.  His thoughts had already been piecing all this together.  Yeah, and the ONE I JUST WENT THROUGH, it looked to be the WORST one yet, and after it past over, I was truly amazed.  Actually, so were Mike, John and Roy…well, actually  That was it for Kel, he fell asleep, with heavier peals of thunder rolling in.









Kel awoke to the sound of rain.  It seemed a bit heavier than usual, but nothing threatening.  A steady beating.  He watched as the lightning lit up the room.  It would come and go, and oddly it seemed to be doing so with some regularity, not the sporadic unexpected sort that gives you surprise highlights of the newspapers you should have picked up, dishes you should have washed, or the clothes you should have put away.  This was more to the effect of a heartbeat.  Not as fast, but steady, and with it’s own familiar pattern.  It felt like he was in the middle of a living object, his place was now seemingly full of electricity, and light, making it seem to more that just a roof over his head, or a place for his own body and thoughts to retreat to for comfort and strength.  It made Kel think of life and the powerful force behind it.


Sometimes, it is so regular, he thought.  The people I care for, my job each day.  It continues on so regular.  Just as the human body does.  Just as THIS storm is.  Other times…he thought, as he got up and went to look out the window, other times, there are CHANGES that occur in that rhythm.  The pattern shifts or takes on different shapes, beats, or momentum.  There are new bends in the river, and currents to master.  AND… IF… we pay attention and LISTEN, LEARN, and ADJUST… we don’t crash.


Did I listen, learn and adjust… Kel now switched over to a new chain of thought.  I must have, he continued.  I listened and responded to the situation at hand.  I learned a lot about my friends, Mike Morton, John Gage, and Roy DeSoto.  I learned and am still learning a lot about myself, and life, with what comes my way, even now this moment… from all this.  I made the adjustments needed to carry on at THAT moment of crisis.  I knew how to adjust each move of my thoughts, hands, and tools.  I knew how to give direction to guide us all through that crisis.



Kel went back to thinking about the human body and let it lead him on again, from there to the storm.  He could relate so much to the body, as being a doctor, he rightly should.  Just like the human body gets sick, and commands our attention.  Just as the storm can become irregular and sporadic, when the lightening flashes ‘without rhyme or reason’, then it can startle your senses and command your attention. 


Any of these serious shifts in patterns can command our attentions as to WHY, and, it commands our attention to SEARCH FOR ANSWERS.  Then… what follows is the…‘what next’...and the… ‘is this for good or bad’ and the FINISHING TOUCHES of ‘what shall I do’.  After we study and learn, later we will see the end results.


Kel’s mind was now past the sofa stage, and he decided a good sandwich was in order.  Just as he left the window he saw the street lit up from the lightening and thought how the finished day, covered in darkness was now visible again in the momentary light. Well, there was a ‘commanding of my attention’ today, all right. I WONDER if that MAN will look back and study over his life now.  I would think this would command his attention, if nothing else ever did. This thought led Kel to close his eyes and lean back against the wall for a moment. He tried to visualize himself, and his friends, working in deep earnest over the man.  Now, it was a bit hard to believe he had really been there, and led such a surgery.  Yet, he knew it was now ingrained deep in his being, never to be forgotten.   



Kel walked to the kitchen, and began to get things ready for a good sandwich.  Funny how your body works after something like that.  Mike and I weren’t very hungry the rest of the day.  It’s really hitting me now though.   I know Mike was taking heavy review on the ride back, in the ambulance, he sure was quiet, and in heavy thought the rest of the day.  Knowing John and Roy, they surely will be searching out their part in all this.  They…well… none of us involved, will ever forget the results of this MOST UNUSUAL RUN.


As he studied on what to put in his sandwich, he vaguely realized he was now beginning to shift into a new level of thought. Kel let experiences of his past surface and become of use.  Kel had seen through all the years of his studies and work, that there are such a wide variety of responses from people in emergency difficulties.  He also knew that the ones who tried to see the whole picture, and tried to learn to help others with their experiences always benefited the best.  They were able to change with the rhythm and beat of the power of life, and turn it into a soothing melody.  A gentler storm.  A passing over into a new growth for all concerned and many more down the road.


Kel sat down with his sandwich, the realization that he hadn’t eaten in quite a while and the gnawing hunger pain in his stomach, were making him feel a bit weak.  The rhythm and continual beat from the rain, had stopped.  The storm had passed over.  It was nearly morning.  At least I got a well-needed rest, he thought.


The continual beat was definitely gone, but there was a gentle rhythm of sporadic drops from the roof overhang.  It sounded nice. 


I understand, THAT too, NOWKel said out loud.   The AFTER effect can be soothing through your mind, he thought, as he looked at his hands, the tool of his trade.   He spoke again, If the JOB of listening, learning, and adjusting, is well done.  Right?”


He knew no one was there to hear him, except the presence of the One who gave him these skills.  He felt in his heart, that there was a reassuring ‘well done’ given in reply.  Kel leaned back and listened awhile to the soothing drops, and enjoyed his sandwich.  The rhythm of his thoughts had finally reached a calm, soothing lull.









Well, no use just sitting here, as I won’t be getting anymore sleep.  Kel got up and fixed another sandwich.  Well, now…might as well get a head start and head on out, he thought with a smile.  It sure is amazing how great and refreshing you can feel after a good heavy rain.  New growth…it was sure good to get yesterday off my shoulders.  It was just a bit heavy to bear, looking back.  But it is NOW, TOMORROW, or rather today, he smiled. 


He grabbed up the sandwich, and looked down at himself, and realized he never did change.  So I was THAT tired, huh?  Oh, well, no harm…I have clothes in my office…nothing new.  I have spent the night there plenty of times before, instead of driving home, I have all I need there.


Yeah, I know Kel, maybe it IS A BIT TOO EARLY…but I just feel so wide-awake.  Maybe once I get there I will relax again.  If I do, I can always leave a message for someone to wake me.  There will still be enough time to change, AND a few minute left for kicking back at the lounge table for …COFFEE, AND…just maybe THIS HERE other sandwich.  With those thoughts he got into his car and headed out to Rampart General, his home away from home.  He felt really good inside, with a new day on its way, and yesterday ‘well dealt with’ and tucked away for any future reference.


After all the usual greetings to the third shifters, who had run into him in the past AND recognized him and his routines now, he said a few good mornings.  He also found himself saying quite a few ‘yeah, I KNOW I am A BIT early’ and ended up following with some ‘no, NOTHINGS wrong’ as he made his way to his office.


Ahhh, peace and quiet…good ol’ office.  After looking around for something to do, and rejecting the idea, due to lack of motivation, Kel began to wonder just why he DID decide to come so early.  WELL, KEL, here you are, it seemed like such a good idea, so now what…


He decided sleep would win out after all.  Kel made up his usual place to sleep, and plopped himself down.  Actually, he did enjoy it a bit, camping out here, kind of like a special ending to remember that ‘storm’ he had ‘weathered through’.  He felt a bit like a kid, just finishing an adventure.  He had his bagged lunch, along, and just needed a flashlight!  He thought a bit of his mom, so many years back.  SHE USED to be the one to make him the lunches, and when he camped out in the yard she ALWAYS made sure he had his…flaaa…well, toothbrush, it WAS HIS DAD that always made sure he had his flashlight!  He fell into a comfortable sleep.


“They told me to wake you hot-shot…what did you do, Kel, forget something, and come back?”  It was Dixie, her voice and the flash of the office light, ended his childhood dreams of following the neighbors cat over the fence, flashlight in tow.  “I didn’t think the storm was that bad, was it?  You could have gone back home, maybe you would have been more comfortable.  What time did you come back?”


“Hi Dix…I didn’t.  I mean, I did, but JUST NOT the way you think.” Kel stretched a bit, waited for a yawn, or two, but none came.  He then stood up to give her his full attention and saw the look on her face.  “I’m sorry Dix, I didn’t word that quite right.  I didn’t come back last night, but I DID come in early.  Problem was, I guess it was just a bit TOO early, but as you can see, it worked out just fine though. ” He smiled warmly at her, and added with a bit of a sway “ good morning Dix…and JUST HOW is it SO far, OR is it too early to tell?”


He noticed she was still eyeing him with her arms folded.  “Didn’t I explain myself well enough to suit you Dix?”


“Kel, I must say, you ARE a sight.  Now, I know you Kel, and I KNOW you will make yourself presentable in time, and you have an hour until you go on duty, but I just think you look a bit more RUMPLED than usual.  AND, I really must say, THIS time, IT COMMANDS OUR ATTENTION, mister.” 


Oddly, he didn’t seem the bit contrary about her insinuating that he wasn’t quite up to par, about his personal personable self.


“Words well spoken, I couldn’t have said it better myself.”  Kel said, a bit in disbelief, as he almost couldn’t quite believe what she just said.   


“Dixie, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since yesterday, and those are WORDS WELL SPOKEN” Kel said, remembering his thoughts of yesterday’s late afternoon and continuing night.  “Definitely, words well spoken, and you’ll never know how much so.  In FACT, it does, IT SURE DOES, it commands our attention”, he said, but in reference to his OWN thoughts, of that one emergency call that he would count always, as a most precious success.”     


“Well, well…so a truce is it, now…neither one of us will end up in the penalty box, on this one?” Dixie stopped at this remark, she had nearly forgotten yesterday, as she wasn’t there with Kel.


She had seen situations of war, and had learned, sometimes the hard way, to keep these things in there proper place.  Her past.  Unless, it was needed for the good of someone else, as for part of healing, to cause growth and freedom, not depression or a stunted mind.  She had overcome all this, and was strong because of it…yet, she was susceptible to the memories at times.  Memories of many patients she had come to care for.  Neither she, her nurses, or doctors, let alone, patients were ever on stable ground.  She of all people knew how Kel cared for his patients, and the realization of him holding the lives of more than one, in his hands at that time, set in.


“Kel, I am so sorry, I never thought as to finding you here this morning, and your appearance, now, as being connected.  Is this, or was that bothering you last night, Kel” she said with a bit of concern, as she approached him.


“No, Dix…I just had to get it out of my system.  You know me, once I milled it over in my mind a bit, and sorted it out, and put it all in ‘Dr. Brackett’ perspective…well, I was just fine.  You know, I do have one.”  He studied her a bit for a reaction.  “It’s called the ‘BRACKETT PERSPECTIVE’, he continued “and its ALL my OWN” he said, just a tad bit smugly, “none like it anywhere, far as the eye can see.”


“Words well spoken, Dr. Brackett” she said closing her eyes a bit, with a sigh, and trying not to laugh “words well spoken…by the way… Kel, did you know you have only half an hour left, till you’re on duty?”


“HEY, your right, Dix.”  Kel darted off to the closet, and grabbed up some fresh clothes, gave her a fast pat on the shoulder, and was out the door… with his words trailing after him down the hall… “WORDS WELL SPOKEN DIXIE…words well spoken!”      

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