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A Piece of My Mind
September 3, 2019

A Wave

Author Affiliations
  • 1Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 2Division of Diagnostic Referral Services & Solid Organ Transplant, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Delaware
JAMA. 2019;322(9):815-816. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.12599

The sun arose slowly over a quiet dirt road. From over the horizon appeared a dark figure, perched atop a black carriage that nearly concealed him. I watched as he drew closer, fixed on every movement, until at last he was before me. His arm raised from his side, gesturing toward me respectfully, unassumingly.

A wave.

A simple but clear acknowledgment of my presence in a foreign world. Frozen in place, my mind raced to make sense of the gesture and how to respond in kind. But receiving no reply, he simply continued on his way. A stranger unfazed by my inability to return a greeting, and unaware of the significant anxiety he had caused.

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