I want to thank The Californian for the great story in regards to Dr. Marion C. Barnard II ("Friends, patients mourn physician to generations," Sept. 17). I just felt compelled to add a bit of insight as a long time patient and friend.

Dr. Barnard didn't only treat you for whatever you came to him with, but he took an interest in what was going on with you in other parts of your life.

One day, I told him my dad had cancer and it was taking over quickly. I said, "That's my daddy. I can't live without him." To that point, I thought Dr. Barnard was ignoring me. He never said a word.

When I was done with my rant, he looked at me and said, "Your dad is sick and needs you. And yes, you can live without him. And I'm going to tell you why." He began to explain to me that being selfish never did anybody any good and continued with the steps that I should take to not be selfish. He taught me how to understand my father's cancer and to just love my father without making him feel guilty for being sick.

Dr. Barnard had a great love for his friends, family and patients. In fact, it was hard to tell who was who.

Rebekah Rugnao