It has been a long and exhausting week. I've been trying to take care of the everyday business of life while at the same time working to get and keep the house in showable condition and preparing to move a thousand miles. Monday I took the cats to the vet and got them treated for ear mites, made sure that their shots were up to date, and got them micro-chipped. We are continuing to pack up our household goods and some personal possessions. The weather has shifted, and I am starting to regret that I packed all my turtleneck sweaters.
Tuesday at lunch my office had a big good-bye party, for me, for our dietician (who is moving home to the Carolinas but going on a medical mission trip to Africa first) and for one of the family practice docs who is leaving as well. From the time I came to that clinic 6 years ago to now, there are only 3 people who have remained. Me, the other midwife, and the site director. Now there are only two. Tradition is that they take up a collection for a group goodbye gift and circulate a card - I was given a gas card, something that will come in very handy on the move! I figured that the goodbyes were pretty much done, and I focused on these last few days as a chance to get my charts all caught up and to see as many of my patients as possible.
I was very surprised when I came in this morning for the weekly High Risk clinical meeting. This is an hour when the prenatal team discusses our patients who have risk factors and who need extra care. Their care is provided by the OB docs and residents, but we midwives also carry the weight of making sure that these patients do not have their other needs ignored - needs like education, emotional support, etc. Usually the meeting is pretty focused. This morning, though, there were baskets of fruit, muffins, and juice and lots of well wishes sent in my direction. The directors of the OB residency program gave me a very nice card and a gift card for an online bookstore.
The day continued in this vein. Everytime I turned around, some one was handing me a gift bag or a card. It was frankly overwhelming. But there was one gift that really got my attention.
I've been, frankly, bitching about how the house hasn't sold yet. The site director told me that she would have her mother light a candle for me, and then she handed me a gift bag. In the bag was a green cardboard box titled "The Authentic St. Joseph Home Sale Practice". You can imagine my inner thoughts. I said thank you, and went about trying to see patients, clean off my electronic desktop, answer questions, clean off my physical desktop and pack up my office.
When I got home (way too late, but what can I say), I was showing John the kit. The front of the box says "Includes an introduction, the way of St Joseph, a petition to St Joseph". So I opened it up and found some quite theologically sound commentary. For example:
"Mission: to displace the current quick-fix 'magic of burying a statue' with the age old 'miracle' of asking and believing". The kit also included a small but nice statue of St Joseph, a prayer to St Joseph that states that it was found around AD 50, a petition to St Joseph, and a request to consider supporting the Pious Union of St Joseph in their attempt to build a shrine to St Joseph as the patron of the dead and dying. I was a little bit abashed and quite impressed.
So now, what do I do? I have my little shrine set up inside the house - do I take this statue and put it outside? Maybe near the rosebushes (I mean, traditionally roses are for Mary - do you think that Joseph would be OK there?) Do I bite the bullet (eat my words, more likely) and bury the statue with due humility? Ideas? Suggestions?