(Disclaimer – this is a farewell blog post, bear with yours truly, I will get there)
My friend dear M., who has been at my very side the last 2+ years, in person and in spirit, got hitched recently. When dear M. and I met, times were tough. Questions of self worth and failure for me, a recently separated, career-questioning graduate student. Questions of true love and acceptance and faith for Dear M. (for more on Dear M. and why our friendship what it is, read about the time when we didn’t wear bras here). Since then, I divorced, met a new love (who I later lost), saw The National three times, graduated from grad school and medical school, and left a most beloved town (Charlottesville, VA). Since then, Dear M. expanded her work with children who have cancer, bought a house, ran a triathlon or three, met the love of her life, and recently married her. She asked me to stand by her side at her wedding and read during the ceremony. I had the perfect piece for this most joyous occasion, a lovely little emotional roller coaster of a poem (A Finger, Two Dots, Then Me by Derrick Brown) that opens with thoughts of being unable to bathe oneself, flat encephalograms, and brain death. Morbid, you may say. Eternal, I would argue. A few edits and 550 miles later on a foggy post-call day, there we were. I didn’t just read the poem. I preached it. I acted it out. I hurled those words in the Universe (and possibly spit onto those lovely family members in the first row who were too polite to tell me so afterward). I paused where pauses were needed. I yelled where yelling was warranted. I did all these things because in front of my friend and her love, and all of their friends and their loves, and that old barn against the gorgeous Virginia skies, I felt every single word. It was the most perfect day. Dear M was radiant, her heart so full you could feel it. She was gorgeous in a fitted midnight blue gown.
The poet asks us:
“What is Holy.
What is actually Holy?”
So, really, what is Holy?
My friendship with Dear M. is Holy. My divorce and the self-discovery journey it jump-started is Holy. Every single opportunity to touch a child’s life, be it through life-saving treatments or spending an hour coloring at the bedside or arguing over the phone with insurance company to pay a medication that approved but not preferred, is Holy. Not knowing what to do in this life after 14 years of post-high school education but being open to facing that very question is Holy.
Today, July 1st, is the first day of internship for all newly minted doctors, a rite of passage in the medical field that is equally terrifying and exhilarating. Today I too transitioned, becoming as a “senior” resident (2 years in, 1 more to go). Much like when I started this blog, many questions remain and a sense of transition, though not imminent with one more year of residency to complete, is palpable. What do I want in this life? Am I ready to commit my heart again to another human? Where exactly is my place at the crossroads of science, medicine, writing, and humanities?
Despite all these questions and looming transitions, I am intimately convinced I will find my way! That it will be a passionate, all-in, heart on my sleeve, roller coaster kind of way. That somehow this exercise of storytelling, reflecting, dissecting, and testing, and sewing it all back together all those years has made me more humble, more loving, more grateful. This dandelion is now anchored, rooted, secured, fastened, grounded. And so – farewell, dear Dandelionontheloose. Thank you for the companionship and all the lovely readers and bloggers you have introduced me to along the way.
I’m off looking for all that is HOLY.
(I’ll write about it … later … maybe)