The picture of my husband and I posing on top of Mt. Titlis like Leonardo and Kate from the movie Titanic, adorned my desk. That was our fifth wedding anniversary way back in 1997. Now after almost twenty three years of marriage, I wish to change that picture from the frame. But somehow I am not able to choose that ‘one’ photo from the stack of all the photographs to replace the same.
It’s not the babies crying in the adjacent room which is disturbing me; also not the constant banging of the door behind me. It’s something to do with me, probably within me. Sometimes not knowing the problem itself seems to be a blessing in disguise than knowing the problem and not having a solution to it.
In this confrontation with myself, I completely forgot how my staff, was meticulously planning my farewell. Having worked for so long, my fifteen staff members were family to me. They made me laugh whenever I was low and stood with me whenever I needed them the most.
The hunt for the picture continued. The quest for the perfect picture to decorate my desk on the last day at my job made me more restless. Sipping the coffee made me little calm. Opening the door, one of my staff came in. “Doctor, your needed. The patient is in labor”, she said.
I rushed to the Emergency Room. The patient was in excruciating pain. Though I may have never experienced her agony and suffering, but the anxiety of being a mother is something which I have yearned for a very long time. The patient was transferred to the Operation Theater. The delivery was successful and I handed over the little girl to her mother.
The tears running down the mother’s eyes and the girl’s first cry made me feel happy. But the happiness was empty. It wasn’t because it was my last day at work but because I could never undergo and feel the same joy which my numerous patients over the years experienced.
As I returned, to clear my room and bid a final goodbye, the picture from the photo frame on my desk was missing. Instead there was a gift, beautifully wrapped on my desk. Opening it, I saw a lovely collage of the photographs of all the babies that I delivered over these years in this very hospital, neatly arranged around the same photo from that old frame.
The quest for the perfect photo had ended and my family too was complete.
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