By Cathy T. Larrimore, MD
I’m inspired by a quote I read about a certain couple which is, “many people know what they did, but only the two of them know how it felt.” I feel this way about Lesley because for people to know she works here does not come close to describing her relationship with me and knowing what she has meant to me.
At times Lesley has been a mother to me, a sister, a friend, a daughter, and my cheerleader.
It’s common to think of your close friends as sisters, but when you have to go to bat for the other woman, is when you know if those feelings are true. I was definitely in big sister mode when I supported Lesley as she cared for her ailing father in his final weeks, I admired her strength and knew if I could have had just 15 more minutes with my mom or my dad, I would have taken the opportunity. Lesley went to her dad’s home each morning to care for him, administer his medications, and lift his spirits. I had to defend her tardiness to work to her coworkers on an almost daily basis. I was glad she could spend these minutes with her dad, and she was able to do all of her work when she got into the office without any problems. I stand in awe of Lesley’s dedication to her family.
Outside of the office, Lesley is tirelessly advocating for our practice, finding new patients, and representing our practice with grace and pride. While at church or the grocery store, Lesley always has us in mind when women need the services we provide. We’ve spent many summers and falls at the Fuzz Run and other community events together meeting the public and seeing our patients. I am always amazed when I see that Lesley truly knows everyone in our community, and the people she doesn’t know, she’s related to!
We laughed about BobbyQ and shared our concerns for characters on the Walking Dead! But when we lost Tyreese, Glenn, and Herschel, I think we lost a little of ourselves! And Noah! In the revolving door, we still get horrified looks on our faces when that scene is mentioned; we didn’t ‘hate Chris,’ really! Comparing our feelings about characters on serial shows, plot predictions, and the like was always fun and taught us how we liked to pick the other’s brain. More recently we’ve shared our “thoughts” on Rio from Good Girls!! Enough said there! And although Lesley tried, she was never able to teach me how to dance. I know that watching me try to even do the YMCA at Christmas parties was very painful to her because Lesley can make the Chicken Dance look good!
Lesley is the only person in my office who has seen me really cry. Misty eyes don’t count! My baby daughter went to rural India by herself for a month when she was a college student. The trip was arduous and dangerous by American standards. My daughter was studying the pollution in the Ganges River in Rishikesh. Being the modern woman that I am (and possibly a control freak), I had tracking on her phone at all times, we stayed in contact via texts, and I knew how to use the airline plane tracking app. On her last day in India, my baby contacted me as she was getting into a car for hire on her way to the Delhi airport. The tracking on her phone stopped, and it looked like her location was in Delhi. The plane’s takeoff was delayed. But I wasn’t sure if she was on the plane when the plane finally took off from Delhi since the phone’s location still read Delhi. I sent her more than 20 messages and they all went unanswered; I was frantic and fearful that she had been kidnapped or in an accident on the other side of the world. I had no one to call, I couldn’t go there, and I didn’t know what to do. Lesley found me crying in my office, and she knew what to do. Lesley wrapped her arms around me and held me like I was a little child, her child, and I really needed that. I found comfort and peace in her embrace. I appreciated it so much. It was not until the next day that I found out my daughter was on the plane and made it safely to Italy, and that she would be home later that day.
Lesley was 21 years old when we met. She was just a kid! And now she is quite a woman! She is wise and loving! A woman we all look up to! Lesley has been through a lot, and she’s always handled it with strength and grace. My pride in Lesley’s wisdom as a mother, knowing how well her children are growing up fills me with great happiness for her accomplishments. She always puts her children and family first. And now, knowing she is leaving us to pursue a higher education warms my heart with the love of a mother for her daughter. I can’t wait until she is finished with school!
Over the last 16 years, Lesley has done it all for us! The only job she has not done in this office is my job! Yes, she has worked the front desk, the checkout desk, medical records, helped with audits, she’s helped out with whatever we have needed her to help us with, she has arranged MFM appointments, surgery appointments, and precepts! Scanning in all of those ultrasound pictures, cutting and taping and scanning and scanning must have inspired her to want to be on the other end of those ultrasound pictures. I am so pleased that she is pursuing a career in ultrasonography. And one day, I hope she will be back home, scanning for us!
Lesley, we will miss you, I will miss you! We wish you the best! Never forget, we are just a call or text away! I love you!!