Dr. Sarwat Malik was not only a great friend and physician, but a great healer. She has the ability to make everyone around her to feel better, not just her patients. I worked nights for 24 years in the emergency department at Rochester General, where Dr. Malik also was on staff. You learn a lot about a physician by how their patients speak about them in the ED: "caring", "wonderful", "she listens to my problems", "she gave me all the time I needed", "I felt like her only patient that day". Generally no one wants to hear from you about their patient at 3am, no matter how necessary. But I always enjoyed calling Sarwart because at 3am she would answer "Dr. Malik". "Hi this is Dr. Dailey". Recognizing my voice, I would always recieve a very warm greeting "Brian, how are you? Is there anything new in your life? We would chat warmly for a minute or two, before addressing her patients needs. The brief time she took to care and be present for me always left me smiling and feeling better as I hung up the phone. Sarwat, Salah, Nadia, and the rest of her family are always generous with their hospitality. Dr. Malik and I both had an interest in healing, and there were many mornings and afternoons we sat on comfortable cushions in their home sipping Jasmine Pearl tea and nibbling on sweet homemade delicacies they had prepared. On one particuarly fond occasion, Salah had prepared us a delicious lunch, while we discussed his just published book. He took the time to explain the ingredients and how the Pakastani dishes he prepared were made, and the history lesson I received in private from the author himself was truly wonderful. There was laughter and joy at the table. Dr. Malik along with Nadia, founded the Muslim Women Fund. We would often go to Schoen place by the canal in nice weather, have a wonderful vegan meal, and then Ice Cream (our one vice that Sarwat, Nadia, and I would indulge in. A lot.). We got into a discussion one afternoon over ice cream about her vision to develop a fund to assist Muslim women on multiple levels. They had brilliant plans - ambitiously raise funds to help feed and educate women and their families, provide livestock that could feed their families and create a business for them, and multiple other clever ideas to create jobs for women, and create means to feed their family. I was amazed, but not surprised at the great success both Sarwat and Nadia enjoyed, a labor of love and their brainchild. I would frequently Google, Malik, Muslim Womens Fund, to find out what they were up to before our next lunch meeting. Are they busy! Multiple news and magazine articles, television shows and appearances, etc. Both Sarwat and Nadia are gifted and articulate, making each story a must see, must hear. It is wonderful to know that Nadia will continue on her mother's legacy. I am grateful that the family let me know that Dr. Malik had been moved to Hildebrandt. As I walked into her room to see her,the corners of her mouth raised into a tooth bearing smile that melted my heart, and her eyes twinkled. I realized as I left several hours later, I felt light as a feather, with a bounce in my step that had been missing on my arrival. I felt a very brief pang of guilt, which quickly evaporated when I understood the reason I felt so wonderful, was due to the time that I spent with such Genteel Greatness. Sarwat, friends don't say goodby, they say see you later. So Sarwat, I will see you later.
Posted by Brian Dailey
Monday July 8, 2013 at 12:17 am