The Indiana Osteopathic family lost a great man when Capt. Robert C. Brooksby, D.O. was killed on October 1. Bob was a friend and a mentor. His loss has caused a whirlwind of emotions in me – everything from complete denial to absolute laughter and joy. I looked up to Bob, as many of us have looked up to someone during our training or practice life. He did things that I could not do (or so I thought). I thought that I would be learning from Bob for many years and so did not spend as much active time with him as I would have liked to.
Bob’s passing has led me to a shift in perspective. I find myself reviewing all of the conversations that I can remember – looking for the pearls of wisdom that I may have overlooked. In retrospect, they all were pearls. Bob used to tell me “We are a spiritual being having a physical experience”. I did not really understand that until last week.
A few of Bob’s patients have trickled into my office thus far (only two weeks after his death) and I realized that Bob is still teaching me. One of Bob’s favorite phrases was “Be Still and Know” – it was the title of his book and was on a plaque on a wall in his office. I hear Bob in my head when his patients walk in the room, mostly the “Be Still” message, to keep me from running away, but also the “Be (A.T.) Still” message that, just like the Old Doctor, this person has come to me for help with an affliction. Dr. Still did not run away, but applied himself and reasoned through it. That is how our profession has grown. It is how Bob practiced. It is how I am learning in my residency. I hear Bob reminding me not to forget my roots and to keep learning. For this and many other things I am richer to have known him.