This morning, we packed up the car, Tina the Dog in tow, and left for a quick half-day at work. Luckily, Tina is welcome for brief visits to both Mary's senior center and my office. After those mercifully uneventful four hours, we left for the Big City to visit our boy. A dog-friendly hotel shields us from the 30-below wind-chill, and take-out from Whole Foods warms our bellies.
In the hot tub, my son and I got to talking about young men he's known who lost their lives to recklessness---abusing pharmaceuticals, mostly. Kids at college sell their Adderall as a "study drug", lace marijuana with crushed Oxycontin, or drink and drug and never wake up. One of my patients, in his thirties, is wandering the streets as I write, high on crack. Still others sleep under bridges on this frigid night.
Sometimes we just need to escape from all of that. Sometimes we just need to get away. Sometimes, the constant reminder of others' suffering is enough to send one over the edge. It's a deep need to rest and collect one's thoughts that's often more imperative than anything else. So here we are, and that's just where we need to be.