Saying sad goodbyes

If we live long enough, we find ourselves tucked into friendly circles outside our immediate family. Some of these relationships with those who provide our medical care  continue on for so many years, they feel like love. I suppose they satisfy the definition. They do for me.

A bit over a year ago, our primary care physician retired, and we were left to scout around to find a new one, a challenge at our advanced age. We found that many of the those in our community with outstanding reputations were so popular that they were up to their chins in patients and could not accept any new ones. Ultimately we were able to connect with a fine, young doctor who offered office hours three days a week.

Then our dentist retired. He had been caring for our teeth and for those of our three children for close to 40 years, since we first moved to Chapel Hill from Florida in the late ’70s. That’s a long stretch, and through all those years, he and his staff have grown to feel like family. Every visit to their office includes warm hugs and extended conversations about ourselves and our families. The dentist who is taking over this practice is excellent, and we are comfortable with her.

We can’t remember how we first became connected, why we chose this particular dentist, who then was starting a young practice in the next city, several miles from our home. But we faithfully made that long trip without complaint. Until now. We now find  the drive to and from, most of it along an overcrowded interstate highway, simply too stressful at our age. So, we have chosen to move to a reputable dental practice much closer to where we live. They have welcomed us warmly, and we are looking forward to a great relationship with them.

Today, I had to make the sad phone call to tell the folks at our “old” dental practice that we will move to a dental practice much closer to our home. This was one of the toughest calls I have ever had to make. Change is not easy sometimes. Make that most of the time, particularly for older folks like us.

It’s hardest when it means leaving loved ones behind.

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