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You Are Where You Want to Be

Ray Blain is a retired pediatrician and medical consultant. In January, 2024 he plans to publish his latest book with IngramSparks as the printer and distributer. The title is A More Perfect Democracy; Modernizing the United States Constitution for the 21st Century.

I remember attending a motivational meeting where the speaker made that statement. At first I stared in utter disbelief. At the time I was a physician not long out of the Air Force after serving 6 years of active duty while war raged in southeast Asia.

My debts were huge since I had little savings and deep borrowing from lending institutions with loans guaranteed by federal student loan programs. I came from a large family living paycheck to paycheck so there was no possible financial help from that quarter.

I married a wonderful 21 year old woman who had worked for a small lobbying firm in Washington before we met. I was 25, poor as a church mouse, but she married me anyway. We had a bed to sleep on only because she owned one when we made our vows.

Our next acquisition was a table to eat on. It wasn't a real table, it was inverted cardboard box that had once held a portable television. We sat on the floor to eat. Her mother, who was as poor as mine. gave us her used card table and folding chairs.

When we left Arlington Virginia for Lackland AFB in San Antonio I had just traded in a 1940 something Chevy for a new Chevy II and a loan from General Motors Finance Corp. I was now a good loan risk because I possessed a medical degree and had been promoted to to First Lieutenant. It took five years to pay for the car and ten years for the medical school loans.

We moved from San Antonio to Mather USAF Base in California where I was appointed Chief of the Pediatric Department at the new hospital. I had become Board Certified in Pediatrics and promoted to Major. We were there for two years. We had heard of the small town of Roseville with less than 15,000 people and decided it would be a good place to raise what was now three daughters. As of this writing this small town has grown to 145,000 and is still a great town to live in.

After almost 18 years treating many wonderful children and teens and working many 72 hour weekends and holidays, I needed to slow down so I got a full-time Medical Consulting job with the State of California. That's when I was told that I was where I wanted to be.



I wanted to be a physician and care for middle class and poor people since I was about 12 years old. So here I was. Check that one as guilty as charged.

I was out of debt but had only managed to save about $1500 for retirement because my clientele were struggling young families and who often had crushing hospital bills. Check that one as guilty as charged. I got what I asked for.

But was it? I had wanted to help the poor like I was as a kid, so in truth I was where I "wanted" to be since I had chosen a medical specialty that was one of the lowest paid.

I had loved most of the time I was treating patients, especially when I saved a life, or helped some child or parent deal with adversity. In retrospect, I was able to help others, support my wife and children and teach them that wealth was not everything, not even necessary to enjoy life and find happiness. I even saw some wealthy friends experience tragedies, misfortunes, and profound unhappiness. Money really isn't the key to happiness but maybe a little more money wouldn't have been a misfortune.

Now I am in the winter of my life, no longer able to do many things I tried along the way. But I learned that what is important is not what you can no longer do, but to continue to do the things you can that are important to you, and do them the best you can.

There is still much happiness to be found in small victories. Especially if they are victories that make other people's lives better or more enjoyable. You ought to try it. You're never too old or to young to feel good and loved.

That is just life through a grandfather's eyes, but the novel is not about me.

~ Raymond Leo Blain

  Ray's book, Through Grandfather's Eyes is available through Amazon.(Cover by Rose Fante)  

Ray's new book is "A More Perfect Democracy: Modernizing the United States Constitution for the 21st Century."














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