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Sunday, September 4, 2016

a living saint

i wrote this essay years ago:

"A small nun in a simple white cotton robe changed the way the world thinks.

She didn’t mean to.

She just lived out her consuming radical love of people, and God used her to shake the foundations of humanism.

She was in love with everyone.

Death was her constant partner; life her constant passion.

She walked her own road; did things differently than everyone else; sought no titles; bowed to no one except Jesus; lived her life for one sole purpose- to love.

For a woman who never married, never bore a child, she loved far more that most wives and mothers do.

The world was her nursery.

The church was her husband.

I wish I could have met her.

I believe some day I will.

And I will thank Mother Theresa for showing us a way to lay aside all our selfishness-

And simply love."

Friday, August 26, 2016

on-the-road dental adventures.

so i had an adventure with my one 
remaining wisdom tooth.
filling fell out again.
LARGE filling, had it replaced 4 times over the years.
got in to see a dentist here in TO…
no insurance of course...alberta health doesn't DO dental.
but let's not go there.

so dentist says he can't touch it...obviously nerve involvement. 
(he deduced that from my jumping, twitching, and shrieking as he tapped 
on the tooth with his little hammer)
sends me off to a dental surgeon.

i spent the weekend eating with my head tipped 
to the right, gingerly, protecting the cavern in my tooth.
we find the dental surgeon...he takes a look..."it's got to come out."
good thing is that he is chinese. 
i felt safe with him.

i gave him all my info, including the fact that lidocaine a) doesn't work 
b) causes me to react with heart palpitations etc.
"no problem," he says, "we have other stuff."
"oh good," i say.

the dear receptionist says they have an opening in two weeks. 
i freak out. dennis says. "we are just visiting in town, 
is there anything sooner?"
she says, "come back at 5:30."
my cavern and i are happy to hear this.
5:30 sharp we are there.
730 they call me in.

so he comes in, my dear little chinese dentist, and gives me a shot. 
HOLY PAINFUL. no lead time at all. and of course, as predicted, i react.
arms flailing, hands shaking, choking, crying…
the whole gamut of typical epinephrine sensitivity.
"oh my," they say. "you really do react!"
"water!" i gasp.
"i can't breathe!" i croak.

panic ensues.
water is delivered.
after about 15 minutes the shaking stops and they all relax. 
i have wet myself, in the meantime, so i stagger to the bathroom.

back in the chair.
"is it numb yet?" the assistant hopefully asks.
"not yet," i say, patting my tender jaw 
where the LARGE NEEDLES have been shoved in.
"you can still feel your face?" she asks.
"Yes i can, " i reply.
"oh, you really are immune to it, aren't you!” 
she says in surprise.
"i told you i was, " i say flatly.

doc comes in.
"numb yet?"
oh my." he says. "shall we go ahead?"
"give me another shot," i say.
he obliges.
ZING. but less than the first time. the worst is obviously over.

he says, "numb yet?"
"sort of," i say.
"go ahead," i say.
(i'm wet again...unfortunately.)
He pries open my mouth. (jaw dislocated in the process, 
but that's another story)
"you'll feel a slight pressure" he says.
"ughhhhrrrraaaa..." i say.

i do indeed feel a slight pressure.
"now you'll hear a slight cracking sound," he says.
i do indeed hear a slight cracking sound. 
i think, "well, he's broken it up at least, 
now we can get on with this. GOD HELP ME."
a little tug, and he says cheerfully, "ok, all done”.

"all done," he says again.”


"you wanna see the tooth?" chirps the assistant, 
and waves it in front of my glazed eyes.
i cannot believe it.

tearfully i shake his hand...sit up and stagger again to the bathroom, 
and dazedly make my way to the front where dear husband 
and little daughter are waiting in agony to see if i have survived.

$364 later, i am out of there, 
with a crooked smile (missing tooth, you see) and a grateful heart.

the man (woman) is happiest who is free from pain.

so that is the story.