I suppose maybe it's because of my patients that I work with, but lately I have been pondering a lot the value of relationships. Last month I got together with some of the women from my church, and afterwards I was talking with a friend about how hard it is to really maintain long-term friendships with our lifestyles the way they are. In my job, I get to see people at the end of life, and I am amazed by both ends of the spectrum - some patients are surrounded with people who love them, who admire them, who respect them, who have been touched by this person whose life is coming to an end. At the other end, I have patients who are completely isolated, with no one to help them through the end of life's journey, people who are angry and lonely and hurting, who don't feel like they've got any meaning to their lives and who don't feel they've made any kind of difference in this world. I sometimes wonder what path led them to this point, because I, of course, only get a brief snapshot of their lives. It makes me want to live a better life, to do some good, to make a difference in some way, so that I leave a legacy of compassion and love when it is my turn to leave this place.
I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude when I think about the people in my life, all of you who have touched my life in some way. Whether I see you daily or I talk to you a couple times a year, each of you have been placed in my life for a reason, and I am so thankful. I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family, and to share in so many lives. I love each and every one of you!