When I left the hospital last night to walk Longwood to Brookline and the Yawkey House, I got the yen for a cold one. I stopped at the Longwood Inn which is next to the hospital and housed in the Best Western Building. As you might imagine, at any given time it might be filled with hospital employees, visitors, vendors and consultants working in the area. Last night was no different.
The bartender asked if I wanted a menu and a woman seated nearby commented that the food was absolutely great. I had already eaten but it was nice to know that a good place was so close. As all things in the Longwood Area are health related you are never more than a degree or two from people who share the pain of disease.
The woman seated near me was mother of four and she had been here a week with a daughter who had an extremely rare disorder, that is usually confined to the liver. Her daughter's was not confined and raging throughout the child’s body, destroying many organs. Needless to say, this had been a long road for her and her daughter, in and out of many hospitals with many misdiagnoses. We talked a while swapping family medical stories. Toward the end of our chat she asked what I saw for the future of my grandchildren. I summarized the best I could. I asked her about the future she saw for her daughter. She looked directly at me and said, “It may not be long before I take my daughter home for a service and take up raising my other three children”.
I walked slowly home with lump in my throat. I woke up around three and I could still see her face clearly. Her eyes were filled with tears; her face was strong and determined. Her name was Bridget.