Three weeks ago I arrived at Paracelsus without knowing a soul. Today, I left the Klinik for the weekend with a heavy heart, having said goodbye to people I now consider dear friends that are finally heading home. We came to Switzerland at the start of the New Year from all walks of life and from all different places, for one reason: to regain our lost health. Each with our own resolution in mind and resiliency in spirit, we formed an alliance. We conversed over lunch in the Culinarium, crowded around the tea and water stations to take drops and pills, curled up together on the big red couch in the waiting room—all the while to cheer each other on, congratulate our progress, and, sometimes, commiserate in solidarity. These magnificent people, and our friendships, aren’t defined by any diagnosis we have acquired; instead, our bond is founded in nothing but pure empathic love. I am honored to introduce you to my friends….
Natalie, a twenty-six year old fifth grade school teacher from London, accompanied her mum, Maria, to Paracelsus. She was a pleasant fixture in the waiting room all throughout the day, as she loyally cared for Maria. It was a genuine treat to always find Natalie around the Klinik happy to talk in between therapies. After getting to know them both, it is easy to see why Natalie is so devoted to her mother. Maria is a very special woman! She never fails to let anyone go without a laugh. Her strength is undoubtedly an inspiration to her family and friends.
Amanda somehow managed to avoid my mom’s impromptu lunch-time photo shoot today in the Culinarium, so I highjacked a picture from the blog (bellairswiss.wordpress.com) her sister, Bella, has been writing to keep family and friends abreast. Amanda is a talented piano teacher from England. She pours her heart into shaping the minds, hands, and ears of her budding musicians. We all felt lucky to have Bella here for the first two weeks. It’s practically impossible to find her without a great big smile on her face and an upbeat greeting jumping out of her mouth.
Another one of Dr. Rupp’s patients, Liz, is from Texas. It seems apropos for Liz to have been named Elizabeth, traditional and quintessentially royal, as she carries her title with poise and grace. Something she also never forgets to bring along is her contagious smile. Her daughter, Kerr, now calls Montana home. If you have ever seen the majestic landscapes of the mountains out West, then you can imagine the essence Kerr exudes everywhere she goes. She glows with goodness and beauty from the inside, out. Her tender and touching hugs will be greatly missed.
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.