In 1912, there sat a house at 2335 Arapahoe Street in Denver, CO.
This was the house Justina built. No, not literally, but in ways just as strong as its foundation and sound as its walls. It was a house built from, love, courage, compassion, pride, and an unwavering dedication to be of service to others.
And if this house could talk, what a story it would tell. A story of fifty-years of sickness, healing, life, death and all the in-between that happens in a community of people. It would say to those walking by, ‘Hey there, do you know whose house this is? No? Then you must not be from around here, because everybody knows this is the Lady Doctor’s house. The story of Dr. Justina Ford, known throughout her adult life as the Lady Doctor or the Baby Doctor, is an inspirational tale about her journey to becoming a practicing physician in a day and age when women were overtly discouraged from perusing such a path. And her dedication and selfless service to the health and well-being of the people she served, certainly inspires me to be of more service to others when and where I can.
What touches my heart most about this woman is her willingness to make her service to others personal. “To bring it home”, so to speak. She created a sacred place of healing, in her home because, her people had nowhere else to turn.
In my lifetime, I have on rare occasions, been lucky enough to have been welcomed into the homes of people whom, just by their nature make you feel safe, loved, important. Believe me, it is a feeling you never forget. So, as I began creating our family home years ago, I was determined to make it a caring place, a nurturing place, a loving place. And if you ask anyone who knows me, they will tell you, you will never leave our house cold or hungry! There is a closet full of extra sweaters and jackets, just in case, and I have been known to whip up a pot of spaghetti or pan of enchiladas at the drop of a hat. I suppose, this is one small way in which I pay my karmic rent for my earthly room and board.
Dr. Justina Ford is the Bright Lighter who inspires me to keep my heart open and filled with compassion for those who, especially in today’s world, may need what I have to offer, making their lives just a little brighter.