When “Thank You” Doesn’t Feel Like Enough

I need to find a way to thank someone.  Not just a simple thank you, either.  It’s a big one.  So, I’m thinking a “Thank You” note won’t do.  I’m pretty sure he would enjoy a bottle of celebratory champagne or a nice, cold beer, but I know I won’t be able to keep it in a cooler, and I’m pretty sure there isn’t a delivery service that specializes in such products (but there should be).

{Note to self: Start booze/champagne delivery service.}

So, I’m stumped.

How do you thank someone who helped you become a mother?  Helped you start your family?  Walked you through difficulties, shot the shit about politics, and took a little extra time, any time you needed it, to answer all of your annoying questions.

I have no idea.

Thursday, my favorite doctor, the one who told me to push and one time told me not to (I had to wait while he delivered another baby next door), will retire.  Dr. Busch will wrap up a career that quietly touched so many lives, in the most tender of ways, and there likely won’t be confetti or a champagne spray or a press conference.  But there will be tears.  I know it. From the mothers who adore him for the great doctor that he is, and I bet from him, a man who felt lucky and no doubt honored, to dedicate his life to a profession that brought great joy to many who experienced births, and at times sorrow to some who absorbed devastating diagnoses.

And, I know I’m not the only one who mourns the departure of a physician from their lives.  Arizona Republic columnist Karina Bland wrote about a similar experience recently, and while I didn’t get a chance to read it (yet), just seeing it online made me feel slightly less crazy and hormonal.

But, back to me feeling crazy and hormonal…

I was in Dr. Busch’s office once when he counseled a patient.  It’s a small office.  Just him.  And three women who have been committed to working with and for him for years.  Sitting on the paper sheet, wearing a paper gown, I heard him say good-bye to a patient as she left his office, decorated in a way that suggested some type of time warp.  He was late for me.  Really late.  I had been staring at the green frog painted on the wall in his exam room for what seemed like 30 minutes.

But it was okay.  If I ever needed to talk with him, he would have made another patient wait.  He was never “on the clock.” I mean, he was always “on the clock” in that he took calls at 3 a.m. if patients needed him, but in the exam room, he never timed his visits.  It just took how much time it needed to take.

We were that 3 a.m. call once, and he cried for us the next morning, when we reluctantly talked about the loss of a second pregnancy.  A devastating loss.

We were also that non-obnoxious “I think I’m having contractions” evening call.  The one that interrupted my episode of Rescue Me and resulted in Josie.

Sweet Josie, in love with 1D.
Sweet Josie, in love with 1D.




















We were also that afternoon “you’re gonna have a baby” call, the one that came after a non-stress test, and meant Dominic needed to come out and play.

Heartbreaker, who can't live without salami.
Heartbreaker, who can’t live without salami.





















And, that unexpected “go home, pack a bag, and come back to get induced” call.  The one we thought we’d never hear, because Lulu, well, she surprised the snot out of us.  Still does, frankly.  So, we weren’t all bad.

Glass-slippered cowgirl. Ready. For. Anything.
Glass-slippered cowgirl. Ready. For. Anything.




















Dr. Busch was the first person to hold each one our kids.  He smiled — beamed — in photos holding them just minutes into their new lives.  And I couldn’t be more grateful that it was him.

Selfishly, I’m bummed that I won’t get to visit with him, commiserate over how fast they’re growing, and engage in political banter that revolved around the screwed-up healthcare system or whether Republicans were ruining the world.  I will also miss his stories.  He made everyone feel so normal.  Probably because he cursed.  Always evens the playing field, I think.

He told me once that one of his children made such a scene after being punished — screaming uncontrollably from his bedroom — that a police officer paid a visit. A welfare check.  A neighbor had called.

I gasped.

Crying won’t hurt.  Screaming it out?  Doesn’t hurt.  Everyone is clueless, and we’re figuring it out as we go, he’d tell me.

There isn’t another doctor like him.  Certainly not another OB/GYN with that name.  Destiny taunted him.  And, it served him well.  Dr. Busch paid back destiny, and then some.   Here’s hoping you enjoy retirement.  You’ve earned it.  And, thanks.  We’ll miss you.