Tears course slowly down my face as the marching band approaches the bend. Soon, the last row will be in sight. There - the tallest tuba player. Focusing intently, he is unaware of the tears or my feeble attempt to capture the moment with my outdated camera phone.
The band marches on, their joyfully loud music fading a little as I realize I am standing here in this crowd crying.
It is hard to name all the emotions swirling around me in this moment. Pride for my son's hard work and excellence, joy for being able to share this moment with him, love for the little boy he was, the young man he is, and the big man he is becoming, and nostalgia for what he has deemed to be his last tuba performance.
Unexpected sun warms my pregnant belly and makes me squint as the band marches away from me, the music fading even more. I take just a moment to close my eyes and lift my face toward the sun as I am overcome with gratitude. I am grateful for this life, every single bit of it. The new life stirring in my belly, the opportunity to have and raise children with the love of my life, the honor and privilege of being a physician while living a life full of love.
The music grows louder as the band comes around the bend. Soon, the last row will be in sight once again. I dry my eyes and ready my camera for another chance at that tallest tuba player.
I hope to imprint that moment forever, to take it with me into my new life in private practice. To be able to pull it out and dust it off during the times of rain that come with the sun. To always be grateful for this life and these opportunities. To always be able to feel the warm sun on my face and hear the band just about to turn around the bend.
Jonesie is mom to 3 and 34/40, married to her high school sweetheart, and about to finish internal medicine residency and enter the world of rural primary care.