I have always
found it hard to prune a tree and relatively easy to operate
on someone. That may seem coldhearted, but when I am
operating on someone I am removing a disease or correcting
some defect in the person's body. I can remove dead
limbs from trees, but any other pruning is upsetting because I
don't want to saw through something that is alive and appears
One day I was
standing in our yard next to our mimosa tree with Jeff, who is
a master gardener. "Dad, you need to prune
this," Jeff said, pointing to the tree.
The branch he
was pointing to was very large and covered with many beautiful
blossoms. I told him I didn't mind that it grew at an
odd angle. I didn't care about the shape or symmetry of
the tree. The branch was alive and bearing blossoms and
I didn't want to lose it.
to my impassioned plea and then said, "Dad, if you don't
prune the tree, it will die."
Now he was
speaking my language. If we were dealing with a threat
to the life of my patient, then I could understand my
consultant's advice and the need to operate. I got out
my saw and removed the limb.
Jeff and the mimosa tree teach me about life? There
are times when you must be willing to give up a part of
yourself to save your life. In some cases, it means
literally giving up a part of your body or the loss of the
use of limbs or organs.