Friday, November 28, 2014

I'm Thankful for a Bridge

photo credit WSMV

Three months ago, I woke up to the buzzing of news helicopters over my house. This is not a common phenomenon in my secluded suburban neighborhood. I quickly checked the news and learned that a terrible tragedy had occurred. During the night, a tanker truck full of gasoline had crashed into the bridge that connects my neighborhood to the interstate, causing a massive explosion. Only a month from retirement, the driver of the truck sadly lost his life. As I said a prayer for his family, I also said a prayer of thanks that the accident hadn't occurred during rush hour when hundreds of lives could have been lost.

Later that day, I learned that the explosion caused structural damage to the bridge. It would have to be replaced. Fixing this wasn't merely going to take days, but 3-4 months.  As the reality of being "bridgeless" sunk in, the feeling of dread deepened. This was the bridge that linked us to all the elements of our life: work, school, shopping, church. Our world was about to change. 

I normally have an 8 minute commute to work. With the bridge out, I now must take the winding back roads for 25-30 min. to get to the hospital. Getting the kids to school would take an extra hour a day. Many of you are rolling your eyes at this, as your commutes are likely much longer. However, my location is a big part of my well oiled routine that keeps me sane. 

Early in my "bridgeless state," I had a premed student who shadowed me for a couple of days. The small community hospital where I practice, isn't a teaching facility so I don’t interact with students very often, but this young lady was simply delightful. She was reapplying to medical school this year after failing to get a spot last year. She was compassionate, intelligent and her MCAT scores were higher than mine had been when I applied. I couldn't believe that she hadn't gotten in yet. 

I realized that I've been at this long enough, that I have forgotten about the angst filled years of simply trying to get into medical school. I determined to use my extra commute time, to reflect on gratitude, rather than wallow in self pity over my silly inconvenience.

I have, for the most part, kept my good attitude. While still annoying, the commute hasn't been as bad as I thought. It makes me triple check my grocery list, because there are no convenience stores nearby. And rarely do we eat out for dinner, because it takes too long to get home. The worst part has been missing extra time with my kids. My short commute usually alloys me to run home and tuck my kiddos into bed, even when I'm on call, but no so much these last few months. 
In this season of gratitude, I am thankful for two very simple things:

I am thankful that 17 years ago, a committee somewhere said yes to my medical school application and gave me the privilege of being a doctor. 

I am especially thankful that this morning {insert drum roll please}I drove across the NEW BRIDGE. I'm thankful to have my short commute back. I promise to never take that silly bridge for granted again.

What seemingly mundane items are you thankful for this year?

1 comment:

  1. I'm thankful I got a cold on my easier rotation rather than when I was on nightfloat.


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