Closing a Chapter in our Lives

Come Friday, the final pages of an almost twelve-year chapter of our lives will gently close. In May of 2003, my wife, Cindy, and our two younger children, Jeremy and Mariah, brought our belongings from Orlando to Lakeland in a large U-Haul truck, opening the pages of this chapter. For almost twelve years, I have practiced as an emergency physician in one of the busiest (if not the busiest) emergency departments in the country. We now see over 200,000 patients/year, have approximately 133 beds, and at any time will have eleven physicians and five mid-level practitioners seeing patients. On this present stretch, I’ve now completed eleven shifts and have seven more to go until I work my final shift at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. With no family or real estate tying us to Lakeland, I’m not sure how often, or if, we will return. We have many friends and “like-family members” who we will miss dearly.

On the other hand, it is an exciting time for Cindy and I. We will now have more freedom and longer periods of time to cruise in our sailing home. I will be working less frequently, which means we’ll have much more flexibility in our cruising plans. We’ll be able to take our time and spend as much or as little time in a particular place as we wish, without the pressure to rush from here to there within three weeks to be in a spot conducive to returning to work. I can’t wait to get back to Beatitude and point her bow in a northward direction, exploring over the next couple of months such places as St. Augustine, FL, Cumberland Island, GA, Savannah, GA, Charleston, SC, as well as sites further northward. I’m looking at the eastern seaboard and wondering how we’ll ever fit it all into one summer. By late fall, we hope to be back in the Bahamas, with the Caribbean in our sights.

But for now, I will work seven more shifts over the next six days. Cindy flies in from Ohio in three days to join me in Lakeland. I will sure be glad to have her back. She is the spice in my life, and everything is bland without her by my side. Before returning to Beatitude, however, we will see another part of the world by air and land. On Saturday, at 6:54 p.m., we will board a plane in Tampa bound for Tel Aviv, Israel, arriving at 5:35 p.m. (Israel time) on Sunday, the 12th. We are so excited about our 2-week trip to the Holy Land. It will truly be a pilgrimage for us, experiencing, first hand, the land and historical sites which shaped Christianity. If possible, I hope to blog our daily experiences from the Holy Land. I have no idea if we will have the wifi or the time to allow for regular blogging… but we will see!

In the meantime, here are some photos from a few activities outside of work, from my nature walks and a visit to Spring Training Baseball.

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood..."

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…”

I wasn't too disappointed to only encounter spiders and lizards. :)

I wasn’t too disappointed to only encounter spiders and lizards. 🙂

This creature  had a massive web that formed a canopy above the trail.  I'm glad it was horizontal and not vertical.  Any one know what kind of spider this is?

This creature had a massive web that formed a canopy above the trail. I’m glad it was horizontal and not vertical. Any one know what kind of spider this is?

Intertwining of limbs.

Intertwining of limbs.

The path ahead.

The path ahead.

Passing over a small creek.

Passing over a small creek.

It had rained the night before.  The last mile of the trail had several areas which were flooded and required a bypass through the woods.

It had rained the night before. The last mile of the trail had several areas which were flooded and required a bypass through the woods.

Another flooded area of the path.

Another flooded area of the path.

I think this is lichen by the side of the path

I think this is lichen by the side of the path

Nick Markakis driving a ball to the track

Nick Markakis driving a ball to the track

Freddie Freeman touching home plate after his first inning homer.  By the way, the Braves won the game 5-2.

Freddie Freeman touching home plate after his first inning homer. By the way, the Braves won the game 5-2.

The excellent Atlanta Braves Saxophone Quartet providing entertainment for the fans between innings.

The excellent Atlanta Braves Saxophone Quartet providing entertainment for the fans between innings.

10 thoughts on “Closing a Chapter in our Lives

  1. Dr. Carey, I am blessed to have been in your work life for 9 years at LRMC. The greatest blessing is being not only to be called your Co worker but to be called your friend. May God be with you and Cindy as you travel and discover a whole new world.

  2. Dr. Carey, It was a pleasure working with you at LRMC. You were and are one of the best doc’s I have ever worked with! The comments noted in your “chapter” about having and finding joy in your life does not surprise me because it is not that you found joy, but instead that you emitted joy to those around you and thus created a reciprocation from those around you that were capable of delivering such an emotion (without mentioning any names, you know as well as I that not everyone at work had this capability). However one day they too shall find joy and happiness (we hope). Enjoy the time you have with your family and create more lasting memories!!! You truly deserve it!
    Marsha

    • Marsha, Thank you so much for your kind words! They mean a lot! I will definitely miss working with many of the fine people I’ve been blessed to work with for the past 12 years in lakeland.

  3. I love reading your blogs 🙂

    I hope you and Cindy have save travels to Israel. I know you will enjoy your time there. My favorite places to visit there besides seeing the religious places there was Eliat it is so beautiful and across the Red Sea there you can see Jordan. Jerusalem was breath taking. Enjoy your trip.

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