Before the closing of our dream house that we were selling due to financial difficulties, I floated through the perfunctory motions of life, you know, getting done what needed to be done. Having my teeth cleaned was the last thing on my mind but I had been having dreams that my teeth were crumbling and falling out at inopportune moments and so I fit in a dentist appointment.
Walking into the office I was greeted by the receptionist. Sitting next to her was a petite elderly woman with fiery red hair and brilliant blue eyes. Her presence was electric and she was nonplussed by my irritable, self-absorbed state. Leaning over to the receptionist, as if sharing a special secret, she commented on my “lovely” blouse. Looking down at my thermal I wondered if I had slept in it or managed to change before I raced out of the house. I emitted a zany smile in confusion and sat down to take the precious time to read.
She walked around the desk to sit next to me. “I shuppose I should let her do her work,” she whistled, leaning in to me to create an intimacy I couldn’t ignore. “The Doc’sh cleaning my teeth,” she continued. Once again I looked at her in confusion, until she smiled a toothless smile revealing painful metal posts hammered into her gums to keep her dentures in. “I have implants,” she explained. “You shee, I had sheven children with an Irishh husband who liked to use his fishts. Broke my jaw and my face more times than I can remember sho my bones are weak. When he got hit on the head by that tree years ago, I figured he was hard headed enough to pershevere, but it killed him,” and at that she let out a hefty chuckle at her story that she had been telling since the birth of her last child who was born soon after her husband was killed. I wondered if she had taken the tree and replanted it in her garden.
As I walked away I smiled at the little messages that were being thrown down at me like lightning bolts:
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.
William W. Purkey
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.