Life & Death

April 27, 2015 {117/365} "Life & Death"

"The tomb of a hero is in the hearts of the living" | « Le tombeau des héros est le cœur des vivants » - André Malraux

These words are incised on a wall of the marketplace in Rouen, France where St. Joan of Arc was burned, as well as on this stone outside of the 15th century chapel at Marquette that bears her name.

Today, I accompanied the Pewaukee High School Medical Terminology and AP Biology classes to the gross anatomy lab at Marquette. I had mixed emotions about the field trip. On one hand, I am always eager to visit my alma mater, yet I was apprehensive about seeing the cadavers. I remember taking graduate classes at night in the basement of Schroeder Complex where the corridors were dark and filled with the distinct odor of formaldehyde. I often felt uncomfortable knowing that there were "dead people" down the hall. Yet today, as the professor explained the nature of scientific donation, I began consider another kind of hero -- those who chose to bestow the gift of education upon future medical professionals. What a generous way to "Be the Difference."

[By the way, I was just fine inside the lab. There were stations where we were allowed to view and touch a heart, a brain, muscles, tendons, and nerves in legs and arms. Yet when we left the basement, it was wonderful to breath the fresh air. The beauty and fragrance of the trees and flowers that are beginning to bloom on the mall were a lovely reminder of the cyclical nature of life and death.]