This past weekend I was fulfilling my husbandry duty by picking up a few things at the local Trader Joes. Just for the record, I do not usually do the marketing for my family. It is not that I am opposed to marketing, nor do I shun my fair share of household responsibilities, it is just that marketing (and dishes and laundry) is not my thing. One of the reasons for this is that I am highly inefficient at shopping. While I consider myself a very efficient person in my professional medical life, marketing seems to be a task which I cannot complete quickly. This is not to say that I dont enjoy it, on the contrary, I love looking at all the products, speaking to fellow shoppers and employees, checking out the wine section or partaking in the samples once, or twice.or three times. But all this extracurricular activity makes for a long time in the market. Anyway, I was dutifully, following my shopping list plus picking up a few items which were not on the list, when I looked up and saw a familiar face.
The gentleman was calmly pushing his cart with a satisfied look of contentment and confidence. His Zen like aura struck me as curious considering the maelstrom of activity emanating from the twin, 2 year old orbs of energy encircling his cart. Thats when it struck me, he was a former patient. As our eyes met, a wide grin appeared upon his face. I usually make a point of not approaching former patients in public because of the sensitive nature of my practice. The gentleman, however, had no problem expressing how we knew each other. Dr. Kalan! he exclaimed, and then quickly called his wife over. We spent the next 5 minutes doting over their beautiful daughters, reminiscing about their journey and discussing their day to day family life.
It is hard to describe the immense satisfaction and humbling gratitude I derive from my work. This family, going about their mundane daily activities, perfectly exemplified that satisfaction. This was a true happy family. The wild-healthy-normal kids, mom scuttling around choosing organic carrots and whole grain bread, and Dad, calmly pushing the cart and taking it all in. Honestly, what could be more perfect?
After talking for a while, we parted ways and I was left with a smile that hung around my face for the rest of day.