It's just a coffee cup on our break room shelf.
Coffee cups collect at medical offices, until you have cabinets full of them, far out of proportion to the number of people who work there. Staff bring them in, then forget them. Old employees leave them when they move on. Drug companies used to drop them off.
So as time goes by, coffee cups multiply. After a while the less-used ones get migrated to the top shelf.
This cup sits on the top shelf, at the front. I put it there.
It was brought in by a patient. Not as a gift. He just preferred drinking coffee out of mugs, and didn't like paper cups or plastic/metal containers. So he carried around his own mug, would buy coffee and mix it up in paper cups, then pour it in his mug when he got to his office. Or, in this case, my office. Any place with a stable surface.
I saw him only once, for something minor. He was in his late-30's, married, 2 kids, a business professional. Nice guy. He explained his coffee issue to me as he set his mug on my desk. I thought it was funny, but hell, we all have our own neurosis. We talked about his leg pain, worked out a treatment plan, and agreed to meet back in a month.
The day after he left I found his coffee cup in the exam room. He'd left it behind in a hurry to get out and make it to a meeting on time. I washed it and set it on the top shelf, to give back at his follow-up.
3 weeks later I came in one morning and began leafing through the overnight faxes. One was from the state coroner's office, requesting records. Mr. Cup had died that night of a massive heart attack.
It's been 2 years. When I'm having a bad day, I go look at the cup.