Healing people is wonderful. It’s challenging and rewarding and exhausting and sad and scary and exciting and mundane. It’s refills and phone calls and charts and labs. It’s insurance authorizations and having the same conversations with the same patients over and over and over again.
But it’s also seeing progress and growth and determination. It’s witnessing families come together and sometimes fall apart. It’s being a steady presence in the lives of what starts as strangers and ends as friends. Can we be friends? Am I your friend? I like you. I’m cheering for you. I want you to do well! I think of you and I pray for you. I laugh and I cry with you. I love seeing your pictures of your babies and your successes. My heart hurts when you hurt. Where are the boundaries? I don’t want you to have my cell number, but I want you to tell me when you need me. How does that work?
What are the rules and who makes them? I don’t want to think of you as just a name or a number. I am invested in you and you in me. Working in a small town feels like home. It’s likely that I know your mom, your neighbor, your hairdresser, and your child’s teacher. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
At the end of our time together, I want you to smile when you think of me. I will always smile when I think of you. Even if you didn’t heed my advice. Even if you missed too many appointments. Especially then, because you made me work harder.
I want you to know I looked forward to walking in your room and seeing you just as you are, whatever you were going through. I am thankful you put your trust in me. I know you made me laugh at least once. I saw you, all of you. I think you saw me too and I’m okay with that.