Second Home

This place. Second home. In some ways…in so many ways as I’ve said before it feels more like HOME to me than any place ever has before. During this admission I think I’ve figured out why. The me that I am today…she’s FROM here. This person that I am was born the day I walked into the doors of the old Parnassus campus…UCSF is like the small town that this person I’ve become is from. I was raised here, learned the lessons that would lead me in life, discovered my true values, leaned on my community, made lifelong friends and then one day I escaped small town living and went out into the big world. But much like a Hallmark Christmas special I always find my way back here…sometimes for a few days and sometimes there’s a bigger lesson to learn that keeps me around a while. My hope…this visit is the former. ⠀

But really. Hand to God it’s like country song level small town lyrics here. There are people that have known me for my “whole life”…I run into them in the halls and cafeteria (the hospitals small town version of sidewalks and super markets)…we catch up on “back in the day” stories and they still remember my awkward/embarrassing phases. We hug…no…we embrace…like only the way you do with humans you really love but don’t often see. I then see people who I’ve never met but they know I’m from here so no introductions are needed…word travels fast in a small town……they’ve seen me around…they’ve heard about me, about Riley, about The Mark Makers…they know me by proxy. Because we’re all from here. Our nurse last night knew us through these small squares of social media because the families I serve she does too. So while we didn’t know each other we have loved and lost the same people. We’re connected. It’s so real. It’s surreal. And Riley…she’s one of the small town heroes. There are quite a few here but it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a full on parade in her honor one day. ⠀

We’re settling in, soaking up the nostalgia, reveling in the small town charm and looking for what brought us here…what we always come here to find…health. Once we’ve found it…back to the big world we go. ⠀

Ps. The view isn’t bad. ⠀

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