She grips my hand. Hard.
“Doctor, what does this mean?”
She is looking for an honest answer. I have been her physician for ten years and she has fought off cancer twice, first with radiation and then surgery. Now her cancer has returned.
“Doctor, my grandchildren are just now growing up.”
She is looking to the future. She is in her seventies and in good health otherwise, but she senses the clouds gathering that threaten her future.
“Doctor, I want to go back home to visit my sister.”
She is looking at the present. She wants to spend time with her far-distant sibling before it is too late for each of them.
“Doctor, you have helped me before.”
She is looking to the past. She hopes that good fortune and technology can sustain her once again.
She looks intently at me. The harder she grips my hand the more I am humbled.