My face is warm to the touch and my nose is running. I have a thick cloud that is surrounding my head, making it heavy and tired. I sneeze often and rub my burning eyes. You only appreciate health when it's not around, when it's a distant memory.
Today I visited the house of my pediatrician. He lived and worked around the corner from where I grew up. Middle of the night visits are what I remember most. Sitting in a vinyl chair with my nightgown over pink sweatpants. My mother sitting beside me, rubbing my back. Ear infections were a staple of my childhood and Dr."D" was always there to cure my ache and give stickers to make me smile. Dr."D" passed away last year and now his wife is gone as well. There was an estate sale at his house today. Part of me wishes I had never stepped foot in his house. I don't want to remember his life this way--chaos and sadness. Maybe his death was the death of her as well, just not physically. After he was gone, she let her home and life fall down around her. Maybe she sought solace in bringing new things into her house, to fill the void his death had created. It was overwhelming and heartbreaking.
I stood in the small patients room where I had been many times in my childhood. The irony that I was sick today, the day I revisited his life, was not lost on me. I can only hope that I am able to find as wonderful a pediatrician as he was for my children. Dr."D" was one in a million and that is how I will remember him, always.