We don’t know one another really.
You are someone who served me
Some criticize people in your profession as cold
and all about money.
But with one question, you showed me
that you are more than a doctor trying to rush through the day.
You hadn’t seen me in 10 years,
since the tragic loss of my daughter.
As we were talking about my health, my heart loss came up.
Of course, you said “I’m sorry.”
But then you took one step closer.
You asked, “What was your daughter’s name?”
I nearly gasped.
Someone asked her name! Her name!
The name we struggled to give her because we wanted
the most absolutely beautiful and
perfect name for our daughter.
We went back and forth between two names for many months
before she was born.
It took 24 hours after her birth to gift her with the name
that would clothe her for the rest of her life.
A name breathed with deep, deep love as I looked into
her tiny, newborn face.
A name said over the years with laughter, tenderness,
concern, discipline, urgency, frustration,
joy, pride, admiration and respect.
And a name said in her final days through sobs and tears.
A name I now desperately want to say and hear.
Although few people
I can count on one hand – maybe two hands –
the people who say her name to me.
How did you know asking her name would bring deep joy
and comfort to a grieving mother?
And then you asked more questions about who she was as a person –
what she loved to do – what her illness was like.
You risked discomfort, mine and yours, to peek inside my world.
I will always remember your question as one of the kindest
that I ever received.
Thank you doctor – I have a suspicion that before being a doctor –
you are a mother.
“What was your daughter’s name?”
“Leah.” “It’s Leah.”
Here’s a picture of me and my little miss two years ago on Thanksgiving. A joyous moment when she was making fun of how I was taking our selfie. What a joy-filled girl. People may wonder at the second Thanksgiving without her, “Is it any easier?” No. It’s not.