I recently received a postcard from a dear family friend, Martha Redmond, she and her family have been a part of my life for many, many years. The post card resembles a lot of ME. It has a picture of the beach……I adore the beach and retreat there any chance I get. It has a shell that is in the shape of a tooth…….I’m a dentist and teeth have been a large part of my life in many ways more than dentistry. Then the final thing is, the simple note attached that reads “given your history—-thought it may be yours!!”.
Many of you may have heard this story before, my four front teeth were unintentionally knocked out by my brother when I was 2 years old. My dad, being a dentist, made me a flipper/small partial to wear until my permanent teeth came in. However, as I aged, I was notorious for taking the flipper out and leaving it places, especially at the Martha’s home, where I would often go to play and end up staying for dinner. I would take the flipper out to eat and leave it behind…..ALOT! So, it was quite ironic when Martha found this tooth shaped shell, at my favorite place (the beach), and so cleverly thought of me. I have looked at this post card often, along with two photographs that hang in the office. I pass these picture numerous times a day when entering and exiting the fourth operatory. Yet, it wasn’t until my recent end of the year reflection that I had my “aha” moment which brought these three pictures together.
I had no clue growing up in a home with a father who is a Dentist, that I would one day become a Dentist myself. I had no intentions of this career path, yet so many signs, now, stand out to me that this was my destiny. I often drew pictures for projects at school, and all were typically dental related. I even won first place in 1977 with the giant tooth picture I drew that has a cavity on it. This is the same picture I pass in the hall day after day and have for years.
During my end of the year reflection, I realized how truly thankful and grateful I am for the people in my life and the experiences I have encountered along the way. The patients I have make everyday worth while for me. I encourage each of you to allow yourself some time to reflect on your life, those in it, the path you are on, and how you got to where you are today. It is so easy to get caught up in your daily routine and forget to stop, take a breath, and enjoy all that is around you. Clearly, I have been guilty of that myself. These pictures have been with me for so long, and not until now, have I truly appreciated the “root” of their existence and how they led me to this point in my life….which I LOVE so much!
Happy New Year to each of you. Let’s make this year the best ever. Take some time for you. Reflect, breathe, and appreciate all that is around you.
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