Lord, y'all. I still remember the day I saw his silver-haired self come struttin' all up in the lab after Sonia died. She and her son were on the way home from WalMart when her Avalon took a swift detour into the tree right smack in the front of that yard on Highway 78. She was probably a goner from impact, but the boy survived and called his daddy on the cellphone screaming for help.
That was the most unusual funeral I've ever been to . Sonia and Soheil joined the local Methodist branch or worship shortly after they moved here and took right up with our Sunday School class. Her service was an eclectic mixture of Egyptian tradition and modern Christianity. Our preacher and hers waved some smoke around over the casket and said the Lord's Prayer. There's a playground up there right now dedicated to her short life. He and the boys headed to Atlanta where the families lived shortly thereafter.
The old Cuban decided to pack it up and move to Miami and the DP group took over the reins in the clinical lab. We were not-for-profit at that time, with my church's name on the letterhead. Big Dick sang in the church choir with me...best CEO you'd ever dream of working with. As a nurse, he knew about the whole deal from birth to death and knew how to build the team on a moment's notice or for the long haul. The vision included a big West Tennessee market of which he would be regional director. That lasted about a year before they sold him down the river.
The DP group offered a lot of perks for a little old rural hospital like ours, but they made a lot of money while they did it. Barry was our first medical director, bless his heart. Trips north were and still are his favorite escape from the drudgery of I-240 and Memphis traffic. I think the same was true for Alan and all the rest of the group. Simple is usually more pleasant , if you know what I mean.
Pretty soon after the Methodists bought us, we got a chaplain. Dude was a bald headed military sort with all kinds of issues that didn't have a damn thing to do with people being sick. When his replacement came, my world turned upside down.
Joe's a nice guy, but has this thing about boundaries, especially with women. Sometimes I think it's all about his mama and the way she hounds him from daylight 'til dark with guilt. Daddy was a truck driver and died a long slow death following a stroke. This happened in Killeen Texas, best I remember. I fell in love with that sucker slowly, day after day of working and tryin' to find some sense in all of the suffering we saw. It just ain't right.
His wife Martha turned out to be the best friend you always dreamed of. We did aerobics and went to book festivals in our hours off from the day jobs Their kids Jay and Bec loved my Lacey and were a large part of our lives during the circuit here. In the end though, it was all about that little guy, Alan, for me. Still is.