When I was twenty-one years old I had all my wisdom teeth removed. I went under anaesthetics and it was a big deal for me. I get terribly nauseous and it often takes days for me to recover from the anesthesia alone. The only available appointment was December 22nd, two days before my family’s annual Christmas Eve celebration. Since I was in a bit of pain from my compacted teeth, I took the appointment and hoped that I would be feeling better come the big celebration.
The surgery went fine, the teeth came out but I was terribly sick to my stomach for the first 24 hours. The big celebration came and I was happy for the most part because I did not feel so sick anymore; I was however sore and pretty limited in what I could eat – something I hadn’t really considered until that point I sat down to dinner. There I was amongst a very large table full of family and full of food, delicious food, some foods that only come around once a year, and I couldn’t eat any of it. Ten minutes into dinner I broke down crying, so upset that I couldn’t eat anything and that I was in pain for my most favourite time of the year. I left the table sobbing and went to my old room where I cried and cried.
Only five minutes into my sobbing did my dad appear. My dad is an incredibly quiet man, and open dialogue isn’t always his first response so the that’s what makes this moment as tender as it was: he held me in his arms, hugged and kissed me and told me everything would be alright. This was short term pain for long term gain, soon I would have pain free mouth that all my teeth fit in comfortably and I would be better as a result of all of this.
This is a moment that I will never forget because it taught me two things: one, that great change is often preceded by pain and suffering and two, how to love whole heartedly and that that love can in fact speak for itself. This moment changed my perception and is even more relevant now than back many years ago. I am forever grateful for it, and forever grateful for my dad.