A man learns he will soon die and goes to visit his friends to seek help. The first explains, “I can’t help you after you die.” Unsatisfied, he goes to the second. This one offers to arrange for his friend’s funeral and burial, but says that after the man is gone, “I can’t have any more to do with you.”

More desperate, he seeks out a third friend, one he hadn’t thought of often or paid much attention to.

“Yes, I can help you,” the friend says. “Even after I’m gone?” the man asks. “Yes, I’ll be with you always.”

The first friend, according to this parable attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, is wealth. The second is family and friends. The third, the deeds and actions of the man’s lifetime, which will accompany him after he has left this life.

This page is always devoted to issues that in my humble view may be of concern to our physician readers. This month, a slightly different tack. 

Not all that many years ago, you could not find a publication like this one in ophthalmology. As in most medical subspecialties, there were a number of peer-reviewed journals, and a couple of tabloid-style news publications. But the idea of an advertising-supported magazine, with more of a feature-article approach to editorial, simply didn’t exist. Thanks in large part to the efforts of founding publisher Rick Bay, that changed in 1994 with the launch of the Review.

As we begin our 20th year, we do so without our friend, our mentor and our leader, as Rick succumbed in early December to a long illness.

As publisher, Rick headed the business side of the Review, managing the advertising and other revenue-producing projects that keep us afloat, so his is not likely a name most readers will recognize. To advertisers and those on the industry side, he was not only well-known, but highly respected and trusted. We have heard from so many of them since early December.

Their tributes and remembrances reflect, even amplify, the truth in the Prophet’s parable: Rick has moved on, but not alone. He takes with him the love, the respect and the friendship that he spent his career cultivating, in the hundreds who worked for him over the years, and in the clients whose needs he served so well. 

Whether you knew him or not, the admiration he held for the work that ophthalmologists do every day to make their patients’ lives better was an important motivation for Rick. He considered it a privilege to serve you. The magazine you hold in your hands is testament to that.

Vaya con Dios, Babe.