Annual Check-In Letter

Six Year Check In

It’s August, which means it’s time for my annual anniversary check-in. This will mark year 6 with the practice. I’m beginning to feel a bit “seasoned” as I’m seeing siblings start treatment and parents tell me their older brother or sister is graduating high school. I remember while Dr. Bunkers was in the hospital he said many of the staff who helped him were past patients. It was a poignant reminder that we are an integral part of this community.

I try to have a theme each year when I write to you. This year it was hard for me to settle on one. It’s been a hard year for me personally: there has been a lot of loss and many trying situations, some of which I am still trying to navigate. There have been a few days where, even though I love my job, I have wished for the luxury of going home early…or coming in late. Especially when my daughter doesn’t sleep and I still have patients to see the next morning. I’ve exhausted myself grocery shopping over our lunch hour and doing payroll in the early morning hours. About a year ago, one of my daughter’s babysitters passed away from a relapse with cancer. It shook me to my core. She was 25. I do find myself worrying and overthinking more, feeling more forgetful, and being unkind to myself when things don’t go the way I imagine they should. I am working on this. And that leads me to a story I’d like to share.

Due to one of the unfortunate situations that surprised my family, my mom has been spending more time with me. This has been both lovely and exhausting. I’ve been trying to find fun activities for her and my daughter together that don’t involve food…I saw GardenView Flowers had a U-Pick weekend and thought that would be a fun family event. We got there and my daughter enjoyed roaming through the flower garden. She was adorable in her flowery romper with her little booty moving up and down as she scooped flowers off the ground.

Then a sweet little girl, about 4 years old, came over with a plastic cell phone and asked Audrey to “take a selfie.” Now, my daughter typically likes her own space and will approach people on her own terms. But low and behold, she turned around and pretended to take a selfie. The girl asked if Audrey would like to go look at flowers and Audrey bounded off with her. Like friends who’d known each other for years, they embraced elbows and went off to explore. I thought to myself…wow, what if we could all be like that: fast friends who simply want to be together and enjoy each other. I thought of the times I didn’t give a stranger the benefit of the doubt. As we get older we become suspicious. We lose that innate ability to see the good. I don’t want to be like that. And I’d like to encourage you to try seeing the best in the next sticky situation you find yourself in. And maybe the next. And maybe eventually, we can all feel the liberation of running through the wildflowers without a care in the world.