Attending My Brother’s White Coat Ceremony for Medical School
My brother’s white coat ceremony for medical school was this past Saturday! We went to cheer him on as he was assigned to his docent, with the internal medicine experience up first. (Though he’s part of the class of 2019, I think he’s graduating in 2018 because of however his particular academic experience and credit history happened to coalesce. I’m not entirely clear on how the mechanics work. Whatever it is, it won’t be long before we’re calling him “Dr. Kennon”.)
Those of you who have been around since this was a blog for my Great Aunt Donna know that, in the family tradition of not following any of the established rules to get where we ultimately end up in life, he took a unique route to this point – a career in the U.S. Air Force, part of which was deployed in the Middle East in an active war zone, time in the Missouri National Guard working as a loadmaster on airplanes, an undergraduate science degree in biology, meeting and marrying the love of his life, and then working to become a doctor. Of course, the part that especially warms my heart is that all of those years of shoving his military earnings into accounts over which I have power of attorney mean he won’t actually have to save anything in his medical career and he and Tara will still retire rich. While his fellow airmen were out buying new cars or renting expensive apartments, he trusted me, slept on an air mattress in a shady part of St. Louis, and shipped his funds into tax shelters to let me acquire whatever I wanted for him. As we sat in that ceremony, cash was flowing in from around the world because of past good decisions he made. Every time you eat a Hershey bar, drink a Coca-Cola, bleach your towels with Clorox, spice your food with McCormick, take a sip of Johnnie Walker, order a coffee at Starbucks, take out a loan at Wells Fargo, pay your car insurance bill at GEICO, stop for a Quarter Pounder at McDonald’s, fill up your car at an Exxon or Mobil station, shave with a Gillette product, or use most products or machines in hospitals among the many, many, many other things he owns, you’re putting money in his and Tara’s pocket. He once joked that even when he’s earning a comparably huge salary after picking his specialty in medicine, he’ll probably be the only doctor driving something like a used Toyota into the staff parking lot so he and his wife will have more money to invest.
And Tara plays such a huge part in that, too. They are so well suited for each other and a team in every sense of the word. One of the reasons he was able to get here quickly, compressing so much of his academic experience into such a short period of time, was because they sat down and made a decision about how they wanted to proceed as a couple, united in purpose. He became a full-time student while she worked, allowing him to study instead of thinking about bringing home a paycheck. It is an equal partnership. They both want the other to be happy and will put their marriage before anyone, or anything, else. (That is one things for which I am extraordinarily grateful. Of the three older kids who are wed, we all married perfectly; spouses who make us better and augment certain parts of us.)
I have so many more pictures but if I post them, I get the feeling I’ll be disowned since I didn’t get permission to share them publicly so they have to stay private for now. If you’re a member of the family and want to see them, send Aaron a text or something and I’ll try and get them to you directly.