{dr.cucumber} ♥

i'm sorry, we don't have any appointments available today.

i'm sorry, doctor is not in the office today, we can get you in tomorrow.

i'm sorry, we aren't taking new patients at this time.

i was a young {nervous} mama with a sick little girl and I needed to bring her to a doctor.  in desperation i pulled out the phone book and looked in the yellow pages {you know that pre-google book with names & phone numbers!} i knew that taya had an ear infection so when i found "northern lights ear, nose and throat" i figured i'd try to call them.

a sweet receptionist answered the phone and told me that yes, they usually required a referral from our primary care physician and that even if they could accept us without a referral, doctor was out of town at a conference. she did however, take some information from me and we hung up.

i remember crying right along with taya after i hung up, she in pain and me feeling helpless not knowing what to do to help her.

imagine my surprise when a few hours later my phone rang and voice on the other end was the receptionist from northern lights ent. she went on to say that doctor hnatuk had returned a little early from his conference, he had some free time that afternoon, would i like to bring taya in to be seen? my first thought was disbelief, if he had been at a conference and had just returned, he must have so many other things that needed his attention, why would he be willing to fit us into his busy schedule? the second thought i had was that this man had to be quite an amazing person if he was willing to see us on short notice, after he had returned from a conference and without a referral.

needless to say, i packed up the three girls and we headed into town to meet this doctor hnatuk. without going into all the details, i'll just say that doctor hnatuk proved to be a wonderful doctor, person, and as we soon came to find out, God fearing, Christian man!  

one day he came into the exam room wearing a "larry the cucumber" tie {from veggie tales fame} and from that point on, he was affectionately referred to by our family as "dr. cucumber"! 

we shared many conversations about faith, family and God over the years as dr. cucumber placed ear tubes {more than once} in taya and kajsa's ears, as he removed first kajsa's tonsils and then mine, and later as i worked in the e.r. at our hospital and he would be passing through. he was a fine man, a caring compassionate doctor with a soft spoken "bedside manner" that easily put patient and mom at ease. he had a calm confidence and he genuinely cared about his patients.

i feel blessed to have had that "chance" encounter all those years ago when he was willing to fit us into his schedule, busy as he was.  

this week, we received the news that dr. hnatuk had "lost" his battle with cancer and had passed away. however, his "loss" was also his gain and his reward as he is now pain free, and joyous in the presence of his Savior, the Great Physician!

after he passed away, one of my friends shared this video of dr. speaking to the youth at his church {click HERE to watch}, and i think it is more than worth sharing! a few things to note ... at the very beginning, he greets those watching with "hi, and i miss you". lorrence knew that his cancer was terminal, he knew that unless God provided a miracle here on earth, that he would be gone from this earth in a short time and though he fought valiantly to the end, he accepted that. he knew that to live is Christ, but to die is GAIN {philippians 1:21}! he also tells of the moment when he was asked by pastor dave, "what answer will you give when you go to Heaven and are met at the gate and they ask why you should be let in?" and i ask you that same question ... you won't get in because you were a good person, or did good things, or put money in the offering, or attended church every sunday. the ONLY way dr. cucumber or you or i will be allowed into Heaven is by placing our trust in the one who died to save us from the penalty of our sins!  i pray that you are as blessed by this short video as i was! to God be the glory! 

dr. cucumber, you will always be remembered and loved and we are thankful to have had the privilege of knowing you!


  1. Neat story! Nice man!
    So sad for his family!
    But now he is well and happy with Jesus!

  2. Thanx for sharing your story and I know the girls really loved him!


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