We, my daughter, husband and I, ventured to Missouri in the summer of 2018 to open a new chapter in each of our books. New to St. Louis, we burrowed into a little corner of Kirkwood and expanded our tendrils as far as they would grow. For my daughter, it has been pure pleasure and joy. She started a new Montessori school at Villa di Maria, met new friends, learned to read, lost and grew new teeth, became a comedienne overnight—her milestones are endless. For my husband, he had a dream before we started this magical journey in Missouri that Dr. Oliver Sacks presented himself from the Great Beyond and told him that we should live an interesting life.
“My dream is to fulfill your dream,” Charles says. To be best friends with such a selfless soul, words are limited.
I sit at my desk and watch the sunrise. The crickets chirp fondly of Summer solace. The train skirts so closely I can close my eyes and trick myself into thinking I can touch the cars. I reflect on the two years. It feels like twenty years! I sit at my desk, an act I have been doing for the last five months to build a routine of managing Kathmandu Clinic, and reflect.
I am a juggler. No employees, no assistants, no nurse, and no front desk. I have the family and I have Siri, and even then, sometimes I forget she’s there to help. There are emails, faxes, phone messages, chart notes, questions to answer, marketing, flyers, bookkeeping, deposits, purchasing supplies, chart notes, scanning, shredding, scheduling, taxes, chart notes, writing lists upon lists, blog posts, mailing checks, and more chart notes! I am not superhuman; the family helps me with some of this. I’m on my own with the chart notes. My favorite times are when all three of us walk over to the clinic, and water the plants, vacuum the carpet, and take the trash out. Usually she takes my rolling stool and makes it into a roller-coaster ride. He runs around frenzied and does everything we said we were all going to do together. And I get a call and have to attend to some other urgent matter. But, there are those cozy times when we all do what we say we were going to do when we negotiated all the tasks at the house.
I am a listener. With serendipity, I could not have predicted the individuals that I have met in my two years of opening Kathmandu Clinic. The deepest emotions are confessed to me. The tapestry upholstered arm chair that everyone gravitates to in my office is now dubbed “the cry chair”. The box of tissue is told to be at attention daily. It is such a privilege to listen. They sound like stories from a twisted novel or fantasy fiction, but they are not stories, they are genuine. Accidents from falling off of a horse, being born with a genetic disease, having a cancer and not knowing, being perfectly healthy physically but having a mind that will not stop racing. CEOs, attorneys, janitors, full service sex workers, drug addicts, stay-at-home moms, ranchers, dog groomers, and retirees. This is humanity. And it is such a privilege to listen. For all of you that I have met, I send my deepest gratitude.
Every day we say, “We are doing it!” To build this all from scratch is a very intimidating. To turn the page of a book and not know what the next page will reveal is thrilling. Our days are never predictable, even when the schedule is set. Kathmandu Clinic allowed us to live an interesting life. Here’s to twenty more!