A letter about routines, flashbacks, holding hands

Dear M,

On your birthday I started a new routine, getting my nails done every 2 weeks. A gel manicure every 2 weeks. My color is Bubble Bath. I dabble in Princesses Rule for special occasions. Once every 2 weeks someone holds my old hands and makes them look a little younger. It’s time for me to go back to the dermatologist. I go just once a year. The summers of the 70’s by the pool and in the yard all day are starting to catch up with me. I’ve got a few patches ready to be frozen. You know the type that keep flaking up and off over and over so you can’t pretend they are just dry skin anymore. I walked a patient and her Mom over to the hospital today. Across the walkway, elevator from 4 to 1, winding past the coffee shop, the heart hospital, gift shop, radiology and procedure waiting rooms until finally we arrived at the reception desk in the ED. I passed the hallway to the Weaver Tower and so many places I waited with you or for you, worried with you or for you. The tears came but I held on to them until I had my patient and her Mom signed in. I raced back to my clinic as fast as I could without running, trying to outpace my memories. Tonight on my way home I stopped for a manicure. I couldn’t wait for tomorrow for someone to hold my hand.

Love,

S

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