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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Important to someone special.

As I sit here this evening, feeling the breeze from outside, and enjoying this glass of 2006 California Cabernet. and listening to Jascha Heifetz play Bruch's Scottish Fantasy in that immortal style that is his alone, I realize again just why we decided to move once more.


That's right, we're moving. It's going to happen in about three months. This move, which promises to be our last move, will be to Arkansas (the Bentonville area). We are excited about the move, but also we are physically drained right now, and we feel rather ambivalent about it. The thought of leaving our friends, colleagues and my work are all playing with our senses, and this particular move will be rougher on our equilibrium than either of the last two moves.

Now, we live in a beautiful home, in a beautiful subdivision of Edmond, Oklahoma. We have wonderful neighbors, and I have a job that is, in many ways fulfilling. My wife has her circle of friends, and is quite involved in her PEO group, her book club, her stamping/scrapbooking group. And we have a wonderful church, and church family. But what we are missing is so important, and is the real reason behind our decision to move.

Now this whole moving idea started a couple of months back. It was then that my employer (or rather, that fuzzy, hard to define, but very powerful force which controls my employer) decided that my employment contract was coming due, and that they were going to change some of the things in my employment contract, which was definitely not to my liking. This was symbolic of their actions of late, during which they have turned my hospital into something that I don't even recognize anymore. It is no longer that hospital where you would go, or take your relatives to, in which you knew that you would get the very best nursing care, and the doctors were also caring, dedicated human beings. This is not going to be true anymore no matter how they justify their actions with performance charts and reviews. The "word on the street" is that something awful has happened.

If you contrast the above with my family ties, you will begin to get a clearer picture. In Bentonville and Rogers, Arkansas live two of our kids with their spouses, as well as four of our grandkids. The age of our grandkids there varies between 12 and 3 1/2. And what is happening to them, we hear about, but only rarely do we get to experience. No amount of telephoning can match up with actually being there.

And to this one need only add the effect of Millie, out youngest granddaughter. We had her stay with us for the better part of a week, and during that time we went to the zoo, we got tadpoles from our pond, and they survived! And we planted flowers in pots which we put around our house (and they also survived!). We took walks in our neighborhood, and discussed the wildlife which we saw. And when Millie left to go back home, it left a very empty place in our lives.

And we heard that for more than a week, Millie talked incessantly about Papa Tim, as if I were some important person in her own life.

And when I went on a recruiting trip to find a job in their area, I was able to personally attend the baseball tournament of our eldest grandson. And I found that the hospitalist medical director and I were old friends, and it felt honestly like going home. And just to add even more to the emotional turmoil, when I took them all out to dinner, Millie had to sit next to me, and took a bunch of pictures of my shirt. Now, this might all seem just a bit superficial, but becoming important to someone special can do things to you, that you cannot deny - nor would you want to.

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