Editor's Note Vol 5: Iss 1

This collection of work comes from a Group Health Writer’s Conference. Participants were asked to write for 10-15 minutes, creating a “Quick Write” piece to share with their group and with us. These short stories, told in a few minutes, tell stories deeply personal, heartfelt, and heartwarming; stories of becoming whole, finding self, finding home, and helping patients to become whole—emotionally if not physically. These are stories of loss and hope; stories of humanity. The images reflect that humanity: a flower from a loved one and a mother’s “worship flower,” a footstep in the sand, and more.

 We tell our stories and create images to express our human experience; we read stories and gaze upon art to share in that experience, to learn from the experience of others, and to revel in our own humanity. I hope you enjoy these brief revelries.

—Max McMillen, ELS

Her Heart, Her Flowers

Prose, Volume 5; Issue 1

Her tiny, frail body lay in the middle of the room. The EMTs were busy trying to save her. I had never been in my neighbor’s house and didn't know much about her apart from the fact that she was a second-generation Japanese woman who had been married to an African American man. He had passed away years ago. Her children were around, though I rarely saw them.

Every spring she would gather daisies from my garden to honor the dead. As she grew weaker she asked me to cut the daisies for her. The last two years she had not come out of her house.

I was the neighbor who happened to be the doctor. Now I found myself going between her daughter and the EMTs. I would explain what the EMTs were doing and then turn around to ask the lead EMT to call the code. The EMT reluctantly informed me that protocol had to be followed. I understood, but I still wanted to shout at the EMTs to stop trying to save her and let her die. I wanted to break down and cry as I imagined the pain her daughter was feeling.

Her daughter wanted me there as a doctor. I was her buffer between the ugliness of resuscitation and her heart, her flowers. 

Comments (1)

  • Monica


    10 February 2017 at 15:52 |

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