A tribute to Anthony

by Christina on April 14, 2011

The world has lost an extraordinary person.

Anthony was my friend and classmate in medical school. We were about to graduate together in May. He had just matched at his top residency program.

Anthony was kind, curious, brilliant, handsome, athletic, grounded, adventurous, thoughtful, gentle, calm, and hard working. He thought deeply about things. He asked hard questions that other people did not think about, or did not dare to ask.

He excelled in all areas of his life. He was at the top of our medical school class. He had lots of good friends. He had traveled widely and connected with people from all over the world.

Words cannot describe what a remarkable and special person he was. He was someone I was drawn to, someone I wanted to be around, someone who inspired me to be a better person.

He had a quote he kept on his facebook page from Thomas Mann that says, “placet experiri,” meaning “It pleases to experiment.”

When I think of Anthony, I see him sipping on green tea. We’d usually run into each other in the coffee shop or cafeteria — I would be getting my coffee and he would be filling up his cup with hot water. I would tell him that I wanted to give up my coffee and adopt his tea habit, and he would smile.

He always had questions. He would sit in the front of the lecture hall, and would be the first one up to talk to the professor after class. I’d watch from my seat in the back row and admire his focus and curiosity, wishing I could hear what they were talking about.

He would ask me about yoga, tell me he wanted to come with me. We went once, and would laugh about it after — he was embarrassed by the huge puddles of sweat he made on the floor around him (of course I told him not to be embarrassed at all — yogis love sweat).

When I was contemplating taking a year off to pursue my research and yoga interests, most of my friends were skeptical and warned me against it, but he was supportive and encouraging, telling me: “I think that’s more than ok, it’s awesome.” He, too, was taking an additional year — to go to Bolivia to do infectious disease research.

This past February, on one of the coldest winter nights in New York, a group of us went to a National concert together. After, as we walked through the frigid streets, Anthony and I talked about our shared stresses and anxieties over making our residency rank list, the upcoming match, our plans for the last few months of medical school, and our thoughts about starting residency — what would be the next big phase in both of our lives.

Today, I found a huge bag of green tea that Anthony gave me several years ago. He knew I was always eyeing his green tea, so he generously brought me back this bag from home (this tea was “the best,” he said).

I’ve kept that tea with me, through many moves over the past few years, hoping that one day I would be like Anthony and choose green tea over coffee. When I drink it now, I’ll think about Anthony saying, “Coffee is too much… but tea! Tea is just right,” smiling just the way he did.

I am grateful for the parts of this journey that I was able to share with Anthony. He touched people deeply, and he will live on in everyone who knew and loved him. This world is a better place because of him.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathleen Summers April 15, 2011 at 5:33 am

Christina,
I’m so sorry about the loss of your friend! You wrote an amazing eulogy – what a way to honor him. I am drinking my green tea and thinking of you both!
Kathleen

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Satkirin April 15, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Christina,
Thank you for posting this beautiful tribute to Anthony. I admire your courage in doing so.
Dr. Summers is right- it is an amazing eulogy!
Satkirin

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arturo April 16, 2011 at 11:59 pm

i’m sorry about your loss, Christina. will keep him and his family in my intentions this morning.

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Williamdwew May 7, 2016 at 8:14 am

Great article. Much obliged. Sannon

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