Through my eyes: Bow your heads, please - 'The' doctor has gone to glory

Why "the" doctor in the above title? It really is quite simple Dr. W.G. Watson became, in my mind and in the minds of North Augustans and in the minds of all who knew him, the standard by which all other doctors are measured. I happen to believe that for the truly great men and women of medicine, the desire to become a doctor is a calling, rather than a decision for a career. From the oath that they take to the application of that oath, their lives are spent helping others.

I first met Dr. Watson when I was 11 years old. I was playing American Legion baseball with the "big" boys, because you could play in that league until you were 18, and while at bat one night I was hit in the ribs by a pitch. Yes, it hurt, but because I wanted to be as tough as the older guys, I tried to act as if it didn't! That was a bad plan, however, because it hurt so bad I could hardly breathe. I reluctantly told my coach, "I don't think I can play."

Almost immediately, this man appeared at my side and said that he thought I should have my ribs X-rayed to see if there was any damage. My mom was in the stands, so Dr. Watson said he would meet us at University Hospital, which he did. The X-ray was taken, and there was no damage, but all during the process Dr. Watson was right by my side, and every word he spoke to me was so absolutely gentle and loving that I was mystified by his concern. On the way home, I said to my mother, "Who was that man?" She said, "That was Dr. Curly Watson. He is an OB-GYN." "A what?" I asked. "He delivers babies," she said. I thought, well, I'm certainly not having a baby; why was he helping me? It turns out that Dr. Watson was helping me because that was second nature to this great man. He probably never thought about that night again, because he did those heroic deeds on a daily basis. I, of course never forgot it!

Much has been written about the accomplishments of "the" doctor - the more than 15,000 babies he brought into the world; he has every honor that can be bestowed upon a person for his excellence -even the Women's Center at University Hospital is named for him. But just let me mention one more. He is a member of the North Augusta Sports Hall of Fame. Lest one think, "why is that," it is because of his care and concern for athletes at the high school, performing all their preseason physicals over the years, a job taken over by his son-in-law Dr. Randy Copper, who, by the way, conducts his practice with the same concern for his patients that his father-in-law did.

To his wonderful wife, Audrey, his children Donah, Ben, Kathy, Betsy, Mary, and a host of grandchildren, our most blessed thoughts. To his extended family, which includes the thousands of babies he brought into the world, and to all of us who loved and appreciated this great man, how much better off we are for having known him.

Yes, bow your heads please, "the" doctor has gone to glory. And if you close your eyes and listen carefully, you can hear the cheering and the celebrating going on in heaven, as they welcome "our" Dr. W.G. Watson!