we just met in the crowded lobby of the western pavilion... it's roughly 7:13 a.m. we hug briefly and guage each other's night by our facial expressions & struggling good postures... mine worse than his... but this was a busy night for both of us. i ask him the highlights from his 30 plus patients, ranging anywhere from seasonal colds to death-gripping traumas & then take my turn in synthesizing the glorious triumphs & draining dramas of giving birth. it's shockingly cold outside as we walk to the parking garage & huddle down in his white truck for our 6 minute drive home. up the 4 flights of stairs as fast as we can into our cozy, one-bedroom apartment & turn up the heat. i light the Christmas tree for pleasure's sake while he checks his email & finds something to eat. pj's come on quickly & i snuggle into bed after a quick yoga session to loosen my aching muscles. he takes approximately 30 minutes longer to unwind, floss, brush & get under the covers with me, but it's well worth the wait. our opposite body temperatures balance each other perfectly & make for a good day's sleep... much needed for yet another night riding the roller coaster of healthcare - never knowing when & where a tunnel or drop-off, turn-around or jolting hault will happen along the way. still, we're somehow left with a sense of pride in surviving it; as if we had some sort of control in maintaining the chaos & preventing disaster from occurring. it is an odd sense of power, when a person puts complete trust into our limited knowledge & believes every word we say. but with this power we also carry an impossible weight of responsibilty... keeping them alive. it is here i simply cannot let the culture define who i am & how i work because this is more than just making ends meet. it is a calling, & every evening when we park his truck in the same 2nd level spot, we pray & thank God for giving us the grace, determination, courage, insight & ability to fulfill His work in & through our lives. we may never know the impact our hands, heads & hearts will make. to us, it's not just another old lady who is dying, another child who's parents can't understand why he's crying, or another infant who just breathed for the first time. this is our place in His greater plan, to give every patient a glimpse of His incredible, undeserving love. so now we rest... as the sun marks its course through the distant sky... we are dreaming peacefully in the beautful silence & semi-darkness of our winter's home.