October 25th, 2005

Notre Dame des Dons

I should have saved the obituary...

It said in the paper, he tells a patient, died unexpectedly at 97. Pause. When you're 97, he continues, death is never unexpected. She laughs. We all do. It is real laughter, the kind that comes when one has accepted death as a part of life.

There is an entry on my laptop that needs finishing, O Best Beloved, and I intend to finish it.

Rural this block; I am commuting an hour each way to a tiny town south of here, where I am spending my time with a man I deeply admire and whose patients adore him. He works in a 24-bed hospital and delivers babies. Friday, I need to be there at 0630 to help.
I check into my mailbox for clinic on Thursdays - I am off my pager, when I come home my time is my own. Unfortunately I'm not home until 1845 and I leave at 0730 at the best of times. I don't think I could commute that far every day forever, but I am paying attention to the things he does and the relationship he has with his patients.

I want to be this country doc.
I love the small office, the tiny hospital, the clinic sandwiched in between a bank and a school and a Methodist church. It feels comfortable. The patients he sees are not uniformly pleasant or good or compliant, but at least they are people who are there because they want him as a doctor. It gives some meaning back to me, and meaning has been missing somewhat. I am pleased.

And I am looking forward to these weekends, and so much free time.
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