Tuesday, December 13, 2011


It is a decision that is not made easily each morning.

It takes a careful consideration of the anticipated caseload or clinic volume. It requires uncanny discretion as one weighs the acuity of the clientele to be encountered – a sensitivity, if you will, to their needs.

He recalls the negativism toward the day’s concern and wonders if his choice has ever really hurt anyone. Imagine the horror if that were true! They are, after all, part of a larger collective, accumulated over the years that hang close to their war-torn brethren. He scoffs at the idea, but still wonders.

He chooses, not one, but all of them and marvels at their assortment, their artistic complexity, their repetition, and the memories: each had it’s own story to tell. He considers the day’s partner like Bob Barker selecting the prize: “Will it be Door Number 1, Door Number Two, or Door Number Three?”

Still, he will never forgot the face of the man whose wife had just died this same week, tears overtaking his lower eyelid as he described their love for each other, the children, the kids all there as she took her last breath. Home was so quiet now. “I just can’t bear going into her closet….” He paused as he tried to composed himself. Then he stopped, eyes full of tears but glowing.

“You know, I like your tie,” he said. “Reminds me of her. Every year she’d give me one of those at Christmas. We’d laugh because she’d try to outdo herself from year to year: green ones, red ones, reindeer, Santa, the whole shebang. Last year’s was the worst! I hated wearing then, but there was no choice. She’d kill me otherwise. But the funny thing was, I never saw a face that didn’t light up in the store or at work as a result. Works that way, ya know? Life is too short, otherwise.”

Yeah, the red reindeer-and-Santa one should do today.


1 comment:

Tim Hulsey, MD said...

To me, ties are the devil's spawn. Sort of like EMRs! I haven't worn one to the office in over 20 years. What few I have are reserved for weddings and funerals. If they were a really great piece of clothing, you'd see women wearing them!