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Oh my, what a big heart you have

Dear Toledo,

I’m supposed to be packing right now. In two weeks we will be parting ways, and as I pour through old papers and pictures and knick knacks that I’ve accumulated over the last eight years, a flood of memories and emotions come rushing back and all I can think is how good you’ve been to me. You deserve a proper goodbye.

I have to admit, I was not always fond of you. I lived for the weekends during my freshman and sophomore year when I could drive back to Michigan to see my family. There was even a period of time when I thought about transferring schools. How lucky I am to have not made such a foolish decision. Somewhere along the way, my loathing turned into a deep appreciation for the Glass City. Perhaps it was your vast array of restaurants, your awesome art museum, or your stunning metroparks that won me over, or maybe it was the friendly faces and warm smiles everywhere I went. All I know is that I’m glad I stuck around.

The Toledo I first moved to in 2009 is in many ways different from the Toledo today. The landscape has changed, people have come and gone, old establishments have closed and new ones have risen. But if there is one thing that remains the same over all these years, it is the heart of the city – and my oh my, what a big heart you have.

It is a weird thing to leave a place that has become so embedded into your life. I am part of Toledo, and Toledo is part of me. Our stories are intertwined forever. I know I am going to cry big, ugly tears the day I turn in the keys to my apartment and make that final drive from Toledo to Akron. And that’s okay, because it means my time in this beautiful city has been worthwhile.

So I guess what I’m really trying to say, Toledo, is thank you. Thank you for bringing me to the people I call my closest friends, for filling my belly with the tastiest thai food and sushi and ice cream and bagels and coffee, for giving me a space to indulge in nature when I need to clear my head, for being there in times of fear and sadness and compassion and love, for helping me realize my greatest dream of becoming a physician, for shaping me into the person I am today, and most importantly, for being authentically you.

I hope you know my new home has some pretty big shoes to fill.

Love,

Laura

 
Originally from the mitten state, Laura came to Toledo in 2009 to pursue her undergraduate studies at UT, where she earned her B.S. in Bioengineering. She proceeded to stay for medical school and graduated with her M.D. in May. We caught up with Laura at Wildwood – one of her favorite places to enjoy mother nature, mentally decompress, and ogle at the cutest dogs. Laura will begin her residency in Pediatrics at Akron Children’s Hospital in July.
(And in case you’re wondering, she did indeed cry big, ugly tears on June 20th when she left Toledo.)

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