Remembering Dr. Merl D. Jackman

This past week, I’ve attended two special celebrations that, in an ironic way, made me value our organization and its members in a very special way.

Last week I had the honor of attending a celebration of Dr. Merl Jackman’s life. It was an affair that in many ways was ideally suited for recognizing the qualities that made Dr. Jackman the special person and doctor he is.

From the moment I stepped into the crowded office, you could tell that those who were there came because of their affection for Dr. Jackman.

They were there because they didn’t just know him, they had an emotional connection with him. The office was filled with flowers and food and several photographic collages of Dr. Jackman and his family at various periods of his life. The atmosphere was not somber, but filled with celebration of a man that obviously touched so many lives.

There were many patients who wanted to be a part of the celebration, there were colleagues from many different optometry practices and organizations. There were vendors who valued their relationship and the support they received from the office. I couldn’t help but feel that, while working along side Dr. Jackman for over two years, there was so much about his life that I didn’t see or share. That’s the way it is with those with whom we work, we see a part of people in the context of Texas State Optical, but everyone has more that we don’t usually see or share.

The other event I attended was the fifth anniversary of Dr. Alexander Chen opening his new TSO office. This event was also attended by patients, family, colleagues, and vendors. Dr. Chen was so personable in the time he spent with everyone who took the time to join his office staff and him to celebrate this important milestone. Since it was a few days following Dr. Jackman’s event, I was ever aware of the value of our Network family that Dr. Jackman so often spoke about.

In the November 2015 issue of the TSO Network Update, Dr. Jackman wrote about family:

“Last, but probably the most important, we are a family. We are a small group. Only 125 offices at this time. It is easy to get to know your other family members. And we do. We work together as a family. We help each other out. We talk. We support each other. We confide in each other. We enjoy each other. We are there for each other because we all have a common interest. What is good for each of us is good for the entire Network.”

As I watched Dr. Chen’s office staff, family and patients celebrate their important anniversary, I couldn’t help but recall my experience with Dr. Jackman’s office staff, family and patients. In that moment I witnessed what was a wonderful tribute to the values, belief and conviction Dr. Jackman held about Texas State Optical. By living by our Network’s core values of investing in relationships with one another,

being an example of professionalism, believing in the future of this great organization and offering selfless leadership through service, we honor the memory and legacy of Dr. Jackman’s leadership and invaluable contribution to our organization.