Sunday, January 20, 2008

One More Thing

Just one more thing about yesterday.

When we were almost wrapping up lunch, I pulled out a little present I had for my patient. When I was in Catalina last May, I found this little bag of charms and just knew that I had to get it for my patient. It was one of those perfect gifts that I knew she would appreciate. What I didn't know, until yesterday, was that I was holding onto this gift until the perfect opportunity. And that opportunity was my first face to face meeting with this amazing and beautiful person.

Inside this little bag was a handful of charms (which are bolded below) and a little note that said:

A Heart for love,
A Peace Sign for hope,
An Acorn for a long and healthy life,
An Angel to watch over you,
The World, because its future is in your hands.

As I handed the gift over to my patient, her sister-in-law said "You are such a special girl" and started to cry and that got us all crying. It was just such an emotional experience and there were several points throughout the afternoon where we were overcome with a multitude of feelings- hope, sadness, gratitude, etc, and could barely hold it together.

Anyway, as I passed the little bag over to my patient, she took each charm out and read it aloud. Again, during an ordinary lunch with an ordinary person, it wouldn't have been so moving. But to see this person who had struggled and overcome so much sit there and say things like "a peace sign for hope" or "an acorn for a long and healthy life" or "an angel to watch over you" (and to have her look right at me) and even "the world because its future is in your hands" was just so intense. Because you knew that she took every single word and its meaning and the symbols of the charms absolutely straight to heart.

Knowing this person has had a huge influence on my life and I guess I just never really knew how much until yesterday. I still haven't been able to shake that experience, and I hope it stays with me for a very long time.

I added the picture of me and my patient to my phone screen saver and to my computer as a great reminder of hope and strength and to always remind me just how much of a difference I can make in just one person's life...and how truly important it is. Because as we talked about yesterday, at the end of the day, it's the people in your life who matter the most.

And I couldn't agree more.


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