Evidently, we flash forward a few months, because suddenly it's summer. Susan's treating a guy who singed his own eyebrow at a barbecue. She and Abby then gripe about the broken air conditioning. "Why did I buy these shoes?" Susan gripes. "They were cute," Abby replies. Suddenly, two traumas come in and divert everyone's attention; the camera hones in on The Letter, yellowed and minus its extra thumbtacks, flapping in the breeze of the oscillating fans. A gust catches it and blows it away, and with it, any last vestige of Mark. Bless you, oscillating fans. Bless you.
And, the following is a complete transcript of A Hero's Last Musings. Enjoy:
Dear ER Gang: So here I am, out on the beach at 5:30 in the evening. Elizabeth is sitting with me drinking a juice, but I'm all about the mai-tais. The sun is going down. Rachel is dipping Ella's toes in the ocean as they head off on the quest for the perfect seashell. Weirdly enough, I find myself thinking, 'You know what would make this moment complete? Some jogger dropping to the sand, short of breath, so I can swoop in with a piece of bamboo to perform a nice, clean intubation, fix this guy up and send him off with a good, simple dispo.' Which I guess is my way of saying that I miss you all, and that dingy place. Lots of times, I thought I should've chosen a different career, or gone into private practice -- something easier, less grinding, more lucrative. But since I've been gone, I realized that outside of what I'm doing right now -- sitting on this beach with my family -- staying at County all those years doing what we do on a daily basis was the best choice I ever made. I know what you're thinking, but trust me, it's not so hard to appreciate once it's over.
As much as part of me would like to believe that the ER can't go on with out me, a smarter part realizes that you're an incredible group of doctors and nurses who approach every day with such skill, compassion and thoroughness that when it comes to patient care, I know my absence will hardly be felt. As for friendship and camaraderie, well, that's another matter. In order to leave, I had to go the way I did, but I wouldn't want any of you to think that that meant I didn't value each of you and the years that we worked together, or that I didn't have things of a more personal nature to say. Most of you, I think, have an idea of what those things might be without me writing them down, but still.... Ella is laughing and waving at me. Rachel's found her shell.