E DO NOT ALWAYS REALIZE the impact a person
has had in our lives until they have moved on and left us with only
memories. Such was the case with the late Victor B. Fain and myself.
Mr. Fain has been described as a gentle giant, a man whose pen was
mightier than the sword, and a wonderful man who enriched the lives
of all those around him. He was a legend in his own time and a community
leader like no other in his lifelong home of Nacogdoches, Texas.
He was a journalist with ethics, and a man with kindness woven throughout
his entire being. I did not know all these wonderful things about
Mr. Fain the first time I met him, nor did I realize what an influence
he would have on my life. I was simply doing my job as patient advocate
at CHRISTUS Schumpert-Bossier when this gentle giant entered my
walked into his room and was immediately drawn to this man, who
had eyes that spoke volumes of wisdom, kindness and wit. I asked
him if there was anything we could do to make him more comfortable.
He beamed, then chuckled and praised our hospital. Mr. Fain was
with us for 19 days, and I visited with him and his wife daily.
They were a pleasure to get to know and I felt myself drawn to them
and their ability to make sense out of the chaos life had thrown
The brilliance, compassion and character of our medical community
astounded Mr. Fain and his wife. They were as drawn to Bossier City
as I was to them. They came to Bossier City for health care, and
eventually moved here.
We developed a deep friendship. My husband, son and I were blessed
to be included in Mr. and Mrs. Fain’s family. We shared holidays
and birthday celebrations, as well as difficult times. Mr. Fain
spent many days in and out of the hospital because his body was
not as strong as his spirit.
I had the privilege of being called to Mr. Fain’s bedside several
times during his last hospitalization. His health was fragile, but
he continued to teach life’s lessons, even from his hospital bed.
His dignity, sense of humor and humility remained intact.
Mrs. Fain shared her dying husband’s last few minutes with me. Together,
we watched Mr. Fain’s transition from this world to the next. The
experience was sorrowful, yet serene. He died with his wifethe
love of his lifeat his side. She had ensured his passage was
peaceful and dignified.
I am convinced each person who enters our lives does so for a reason.
“Why,” I asked myself, “had Mr. Fain been brought
into my life and then taken away so quickly?”
After reflecting on this question, I decided that Mr. Fain had taught
me many lessons through his actions and words: believe in others;
look for the humor in every situation; make time for those you love;
have no regrets; and keep your eyes, ears and heart open to the
lessons each person you meet can teach you. And last, but certainly
not leastthat gentleness is a powerful asset.
Bossier City, Louisiana