with an open mind and heart

I’m constantly in awe of the way life revolves, continuing on and on, whether or not you’re ready for the ride. Sometimes you can anticipate the hurdles, and other times they come careening out of nowhere. And sometimes the hurdles don’t trip you up; they just make you stop to pause and appreciate or contemplate. The point is we need the hurdles, the challenges, the good days, and the bad days. They’re the ingredients that come together to make a life.

I registered the kids at their new pediatrician today. It was pretty routine, but I was taken aback a bit when requesting their records from Brooklyn to be transferred. The words, “I understand by signing this I’m no longer a patient of this practice,” stopped me in my tracks.

I remember the day I met with Dr. Price, back in 2003, just before Isabella was born. My mom went with me to the appointment. I’d never even held a baby before she came into the world at 8:00pm on May 11th that year. I didn’t know what questions to ask in this meeting, so she tagged along for support. Back then the practice was just three doctors. Over these last 12 years it’s grown, and moved to bigger digs. Dr. Julie became our regular pediatrician, and saw us through some tough times.

Through all the changes, though, the very first receptionist we met there stayed (with a brief break in between). She always had a big smile and warm hello for The Perillos. Even as the staff grew, and the office got busier, I knew I could ask for to help circumvent the craziness. She remembers M fondly, too. In a weird way, that office became an extension of our family. We were only there for annual wellness visits, and the rare sick visit (thank heavens for that!), but these two women never made us feel like a patient in a sea of folders. We felt like real people whom they knew and cared about. Even with my move upstate, I stayed with the practice, unable to break the comfort and security we’d created for the girls.

Saying goodbye to the practice is another one of those not-so-little goodbyes to an old chapter of my life. Every time it happens, a new goodbye, that is, it feels like an updated edition of an old story goes into print. Mentally, it’s a transition from being a widow to a single woman, ready to write new chapters with an open mind and heart.

Music Pairing: Blood, Muscle, Skin & Bone by Brandi Carlile


  • DamselflyDiary

    Trying to hang onto the past while grapsing towards the future is a good way to rip your arms off! HA!

    Life is so much more graceful when we release easily and embrace lovingly. But often we don’t. We hang on for dear life afraid of a wrong decision, a change we can’t handle or regret.

    In a silly way I am feeling that right now. We are selling our hot tub after hot tubbing for 20 years. We just aren’t using it anymore. Silly to keep it. Yet when we got an offer (and accepted) I immediately wanted to change my mind. We will never hot tub again? I want it back! I want those days of long soaks again. No, that was just panic. Those days are gone and for no other reason than life changes.

    You are a brave and open woman Jennie. I have admired you from afar for a few years now. We all experience life, you are just brave enough to open yourself up to all of us so we don’t feel so alone.

  • Radhika

    Best wishes on your new journey! Enjoy every moment and dance like Beyoncé in “Somgle Ladies”. 🙂

  • lori

    You’ve been amazing on this journey. This story reminded me of when our pediatrician retired. He’d been my niece’s doctor long before my son’s and had always been helpful beyond the usual. I cried like a baby when we filled out the paperwork to take our records elsewhere. And we didn’t even have the other layers of emotions involved. I hope your new chapter in Maryland brings you great happiness!