Every year at Christmas time, my husband and I receive an exorbitant amount of gifts from our colleagues, local businesses, and our patients. In the form of large gift baskets, fine wines, floral arrangements, homemade baked goods, cards or pictures, each and every one symbolizes our place of value in this community. All are appreciated and it fills my heart with joy and pride that we’ve carved out a meaningful niche here, especially since neither of us are native to Texas. It makes us feel like we have family, like we have a home here in the greater Killeen area.
Where our staff is concerned, we give a generous Christmas bonus and time off as requested. We have a good working relationship with our employees, and our clinic exudes warmth and positivity. While I am a provider, I am viewed more as the “boss's wife” than as a boss. This is just fine with me, because I feel I have a friendly relationship with every person who works for us. I use the word “friendly” because out of respect for my husband’s work ethic, certain boundaries are maintained and I am not “friends” with our employees, in the sense of going out to lunch or on shopping sprees together. Nonetheless, I care about them, respect them, and we share funny stories about our families and laugh easily together. This is important to me given the stereotypical view of the “boss's wife” - cold, condescending, and demanding. I put concerted effort into debunking that view where our office staff is concerned. I recognize and appreciate how hard they work and cherish their dedication to us.
Yesterday, I was racing around on a typical overly busy day when one of the nurses came up to me, handed me a package, and said, “I didn’t get a chance to see you before Christmas. This is for you.” Not for you and Dr. Marsh. But for ME. It didn’t matter what was in there; she had gone out and gotten a gift just for me. She had taken time and her earnings to show me that she cared about me - not as a provider, not as the boss's wife, but as a person who was important in her life. I was touched beyond words at this grand gesture, because it came straight from her heart and was meant to go straight to my heart.
As she scurried down the hall to keep our clinic moving smoothly, I opened the hand-wrapped package. Inside was an ornament that simply said, “Believe." It was a word that held tremendous meaning for me not only during the Christmas season, but all year round. There was also a bottle of scented hand soap. Again, seemingly a simple gift but this particular nurse knew how much I loved things like that. She had chosen gifts that held personal meaning.
The ornament is hung on my rear-view mirror and I smile every time I get in my car and look at it. The peppermint soap is on my sink at home, and I feel love in my heart every time I wash my hands. The little things that touch us deep within really are the biggest things. They are grand gestures of love, the richest gifts of all.