One of Those Weeks

September 19, 2013

Gracious Living Day by DayMy week started off with a visit to a dermatologist to check a couple of suspicious looking spots on my nose. I walked out of his office with a nose bandaged like a mummy.

On the way home, I had to stop at a grocery store to pick up a roasted chicken for dinner. People tried to be polite and not stare, but my bandaged nose seemed to be the center of the universe. Children stared at me shamelessly, some pointing and loudly questioning their parents. Parents whispered back that it was impolite to point or stare. I couldn’t agree more.

As soon as I came home, I took the bandages off. The scars didn’t seem too bad, and as I sat down to dinner with my family, they encouraged me by saying so. I believed them. If there is one thing my family is mercilessly honest about, especially my sons, it is my looks.

My eyes

We laughed and talked as we ate but as I bit into a chicken wing, I had a very strange sensation. I looked down and saw that the cap had fallen off my front tooth and landed on my dinner plate. I looked around me and saw the horror (and then hilarity) on the faces of my boys. Now I had a scraped nose and I was toothless.

Mike took out his phone and asked me to smile into the camera.

What I really wanted to do was cry, but my pride made me sit up straight and finish dinner, then retreat to my bedroom. I left a pleading message for my dentist to call me first thing in the morning. Sam and his girlfriend Emily brought me some coconut ice cream from the Dairy Queen. That helped a little bit.

My sweet dentist called first thing in the morning and I set off confident that I’d be walking out of his office with my teeth intact. I didn’t. I had to go see a root canal specialist at noon. While I waited, I decided to go to a cafe and have some coffee and a croissant.

The place was full of young mothers with children. A little brown eyed girl of about four or five sat at a table facing me with her mother and baby brother. She looked at me with interest.

I assumed that my scraped nose attracted her attention, and tried to hide my missing tooth by not opening my mouth too wide. I ate with great delicacy and tried to hide behind my magazine.

The little girl watched me like a hawk as she picked at her muffin and sipped her hot chocolate. For more than half an hour we sat like that, and I don’t think she took her eyes off me once. Her mother was busy entertaining the baby.

As they got up to leave, she still kept glancing in my direction. I felt I owed the patient and tenacious detective something, and so I opened my mouth and gave her a wide smile. Her eyes rounded like she had won a prize. And then the little girl opened her own mouth, showing me a gap much wider than mine: she must have been missing more than four teeth right up front.

She stuck her little tongue through the gap, proud as could be. She was the clear winner.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff September 20, 2013 at 9:11 am

Love this story, Liliana. Leave it to a 5-year old to put it in perspective… :)

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Liliana September 20, 2013 at 11:46 am

Indeed!

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Ellen Goldman September 21, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Wonderful story of perspective. Hope things are looking better this week.

Ellen

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Liliana September 22, 2013 at 8:36 am

Thanks, Ellen, but this week too will be full of challenges. Lots of hours will be spent in the dentist’s as well as the dermatologist’s offices. I am trying to look on the bright side of things and be patient.
I hope you are well. Lots of hugs and good wishes,
L.

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Rosanna September 20, 2013 at 9:33 pm

I’m so sorry, Liliana, about your losing the cap from your front tooth; then having to see a root canal specialist. (My husband has lost a few of his own tooth caps before, while eating ~ NO FUN!!) Your funny story of the little girl’s parting, gap-toothed smile in the cafe’ was simply *beyond-priceless*!!

As incredibly sweet, indeed, that the little girl was, I think I might personally know which one of these two “images” would probably, in the years to come, tend to stay in my mind THE LONGEST………… i.e., A) The little girl’s toothless smile for you………… OR………… as you said, B) “The horror (and then hilarity) on the faces of my boys,” Mike and Sam………… (when the cap from your front tooth fell off and landed on your dinner plate, haha)!!

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Liliana September 21, 2013 at 3:16 pm

I am sure, Rosanna, that this story will live forever as part of our family folklore. One of the most important things I’ve learned in life is not to take myself too seriously.
Take care and best to you.
L.

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Jelena September 22, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Hope you’ll very soon be back to normal! Love the writing here, and thank the Lord for our sense of humor. Hugs to you, dearest friend.

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Liliana September 22, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Thanks, girlfriend. Love and hugs to you.

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Kathleen November 29, 2013 at 8:54 am

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving to you, Liliana. I miss reading your posts and updates – I hope all is well and you’ve just been very busy. Best wishes to you and yours as we enter the holiday season. Wishing you well.
Kathleen

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