A thought is like cotton – it can be processed hundreds of times and each time it becomes more refined.

My lovely 93 year old

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She walked towards me – bright eyed and a wide smile. It was like I was looking into the eyes of a child, except she is my 93 year old patient. She walked with a shuffling gait, gently grasping my arm for support, saying hello to everyone we passed in the hallway. I felt proud because she was my patient. But I especially felt this attachment to her as if she was my own family because it is hard not to fall in love with her. Few feet behind us, walked her husband who was a tall man with gentle but watchful eyes. I had them sit side by side and they described to me their last month. They had welcomed the first great grand child over the weekend. She beamed when she showed me a 4×6 photograph of a bundled baby in the laps of my patients. They talked about going on a grocery trip later in the day. They described being concerned about not having milk and bread for “the kids” so they had to go grocery shopping after our meeting. Then, she asked me how I was doing. I told her I was very happy to see her – and I missed my grandparents every time I saw them. It was the most honest response I could tell her. She responded by saying that grandparents are all the same – cute and cuddly. We all shared a laugh at that moment. I asked her whether she was taking her medications and she looked at her husband who responded by saying that he was in charge of the medications because she had started being a little forgetful of her pills and where she kept them. I saw the concern in his face, but I saw the pride in her face as she patted him. She looked at me and said – “it is good to have a husband like him because he keeps me going.” In that moment we all shared a silent understanding that this was the beginning of a long journey. We talked a little about their health, but we talked more about how they felt and where they wanted to see their lives turn. We talked about advanced directives and health care proxies…they signed their respective papers. She said “I am glad I am signing this with my husband…it is like signing our wedding license all over again.” I held her hand and she gave me a hug when she left. Her husband shook my hand and then in a surprise move gave me a hug. He quietly whispered “I hope you find a life partner like her. She is my world.” And with a wink, he held out his arm for her and off they went into the sunset.

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