So here's the deal...quite a number of years ago, I used to work for a company that has offices in both the USA and the UK. I had some amazing colleagues. Although nearly everyone went their separate ways, a few of us managed to keep in touch and I met up with some of them here in the UK a few weeks ago. Talk about a blast from the past!
I had the opportunity to travel over to the UK for work back in 2005. While here I stayed for a week with one of the most lovely people (and her family) that I have every met in my life!! Joan was a firecracker...smart, kind, caring, a nurse, mom, wife, and a business woman. She was a great sounding board and she really pushed for me to be the best I could while working for that company and in life in general. She would ask me how long I planned to stick around vs pursuing becoming a doctor. A little longer I would always tell her. I'm not quite ready yet.
She would visit the USA fairly regularly, on a Monday. As soon as I walked in the front doors, I would know she was in the office...because I could smell her perfume! She wore Clinique Aromatic religiously...3 pumps every day. Why 3 pumps I asked? Because once she got cancer, through her various treatments her sense of smell was reduced. She knew she loved her perfume but couldn't smell it as well, but figured 3 pumps would be sufficient and not too overpowering to everyone else.
On those Monday's, I knew it would be a good week. It was a guarantee we would go out for lunch and dinner, at least twice...EACH...to Red Lobster. She loved that place. We would go there and catch up on family, work, life, everything. We would discuss how I could help my career move forward and what I saw myself doing in the future. She always had my best interests at heart. She came to have dinner with my family and always bought sweet treats for them every time she visited.
I'm off track again...just sitting and remembering so many good memories. Laughs, tears, business trips, Red Lobster biscuits and clam chowder--that's what she ordered every single time! Today, I walked past a lady on my way home from the hospital and was stopped in my tracks. I literally stopped and looked back at her. She was already quite a distance away because these people walk like they are in the mall walking marathon over here! I smelled the Clinique Aromatic perfume...I stopped to look because I expected to see Joan...she is the only person I knew that wore it. The memories of so many years ago came flooding back...in a rush...like it was yesterday.
It would have been great to reconnect with her now that I'm here...She would have had me out and about whenever there was time...She would have been looking after me like my mom wishes she could...She would have been so proud to see how far I've come and so glad that I'm finally working towards being a doctor. Sadly, she lost her battle with Lymphoma in 2007.
Once I realized I had stopped walking, I shook my head and smiled...just when I needed a little boost in my day, Joan passed by on a gust of wind and said "hello, keep going."
Until next time...