"The tug-of-war between music and medicine was pulling the rope exceedingly tight, with no clear winner or loser."

David Tucker dreams of a career in music, but his father envisions a future in medicine for his son and refuses to relent. At constant odds over the younger Tucker’s future, father and son struggle to accept each other’s aspirations. An agreement is reached between the two that the father will generously pay for singing lessons only if his son remains in medical school and pursues a career as a doctor. However, escaping the shadow of his father—Richard Tucker, a renowned operatic tenor for the Metropolitan Opera—proves a daunting task for the author as he is continuously subjected to comparisons. The weight of balancing both his education and singing requires unwavering dedication, but he is committed to pursuing both medicine and his passion. As his graduation nears, he is faced with the challenge of deciding his path and discovers that his purpose surprisingly aligns with his father’s dream.

This memoir outlines the author’s personal and professional journey to becoming a leading ophthalmologist. The collection of stories provides a rare glimpse inside a family’s intimate moments, documenting milestones in the author’s life as well as those of his father’s as he becomes an opera legend. At the crux of the memories shared is the family’s strong Jewish faith and the importance of preserving religious rituals that bring the family together and honor their heritage. Tucker candidly states that his successful medical profession was achieved by sacrificing time with his family—an issue that he contemplates often throughout the book—paying homage to his wife who managed their home and four children while he remained focused on advancing his career. An inspiring story of ambition and compromise, the memoir examines the process of evaluating our talents and accepting when our gifts are best served on a different stage.

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