About as fun as a root canal

The room was draped in plastic, the sound of an “HEPA” air cleaner whirring, and then, the drilling began.

It sounds like the ominous beginning of a horror film playing in my head. The music would be dramatic, and with your jaw held open, there is a feeling of helplessness.

My son Zach writes often in the thriller/horror/fantasy/sci-fi genre, and I have told him that his stories scare me. I’ve repeated to him several times,

“ if I wasn’t your Mom, I probably wouldn’t read your writing , especially before bed because I don’t want to fall asleep feeling afraid.”

He tilts his head, and gives me a grin, in the disarming way that he has. and with a twinkle in his eye,

“ ya..I get it Mom.”

He is a brilliant writer, and his imagination knows no bounds. He craves writing, like I crave a plate of nachos slathered in cheese and jalapeños, dipped in guacamole and salsa… I know.. vastly different.. I am keenly aware.

He needs to write, while I like to write. For him it is his oxygen, his creative release that lets out his thoughts, and tells fictional or maybe non fictional stories that make me have a sleepless night, and him feel satisfaction because sometimes you just need to get the words out. There are stories that are itching to be told, and as he tells me he has at least six stories going at once.

I can’t even read two books at a time. I interchange the characters and utterly confuse myself. This even happens with magazines. The pretty photos distract me, and before I know it, I end up creating a specific dish from a recipe that looked delicious in the book that I didn’t even intend to make.

As I rummage around on the shelves of the pantry searching for ingredients, I think why am I now making a main course at this time? Because… I was inspired, and needed to create.. this is what makes me tick.

I’m purging, and releasing the chaos of feeling that lives in my head. As I write there is a breathing out , and a much needed letting go.

There are declarations that you hear in life that make me instantly cringe and shrink away.

When the endodentist states in a calm, and firm way that you need a root canal, the tension begins to build in my mind.

Is there another way I wonder, and I inquire,

“ can’t we just pull the tooth ?”

After all, the good book says, “ if something offends me, I should pluck it out..”

Seems reasonable.. anything but the drilling, and messing about in my mouth. In my space… and my brain quietly screams.. “be gone from me… leave my tooth alone.!”

There are things and situations to dread in life. This was one of mine. Looking for a way to escape the inevitable for a year, before finally caving, and accepting that I needed to feel uncomfortable, before I could hopefully feel better.

“Take me away” I scream inside my head as the needles, drills, x ray capes, and suction hoses are being utilized inside my mouth.

It is a season of raw. I was flipping through photos on my I-pad of days gone by. I reasoned that these photos would bring comfort, but I noticed that the sweet remembering sliced clean and deep, like a fresh knife slice to the heart.

The reminiscing of what was behind me, and the present reality that time was slipping past at a breakneck rate, brought a sense of wanting to put a bookmark in the moment.

To sit in the time and space with a person, and to endure with them where they are, even when you wish more than anything to turn back the clock, and go through your life with them again.

Helpless to grab hold of the hour and the minute hand, and halt it, or to go back to the good stuff, and selectively delete all that hurts or is uncomfortable .

This is not within our control. The “hands of time” tick relentlessly onwards, and what is required is that we make the most of the sacredness of our lives each moment of every day.

It’s not about legacy or leaving a mark on the earth, it’s about continuing to love and show up for each other, especially when we are wasting away. We came from the dust, and we shall return to dirt, and soil.

Could it be this present missing?

It is the weekend of Valentines and all things hearts and flowers, chocolate, and love. It is a remembering and a reconciling to myself to let those that I love know it…

“As if love would ever want to hide.” From the song, “I’m alive again,” by Matt Maher

That phrase struck such a chord with me today. The importance of speaking our truth in love, and not let words go unsaid. I’m learning a great deal about “ the art of forgiveness.” Some profound learning I tell you that. I didn’t know, what I didn’t know.

Greg, Mum and I at Hunter’s hockey game a few years ago..

Making the moments count. As this pandemics lingers on, and has to an extent become a part of our daily lives, we reach for a better time, and yearn to meet up over coffee, lunch, and as my friend Kathy stated,

“ I can’t wait to hold a menu again.”

The simple things that we take for granted. The every day, little nuances that brighten our paths. Can we return to what now is considered almost our “ Eden,” of the before? It feels extra special to be able to do even the simplest of outings.

There has been much loss in this pandemic season, and it has brought into the light who we really are, and how we react in times of uncertainty, and potential sickness, and death. Fear, blatant, and icy, has wound its long icy fingers through our lives, and wanted to seek refuge inside of our homes.

It cannot stay there though…it’s no place for it to live in a permanent way. It will wreck havoc on our sense of well being should it be given a permanent cozy bed in which to slumber.

It can sleep on the couch for a time, but like a relative who does not know when it’s time to go, fear has to be shown the front door, with a definitive kick to to the backside, and as a parting gift, asked that it never returns.

I’m looking through some cds to see which ones that I think my Mum would enjoy listening to . I find my trusty black sharpie pen, and label her name and room number knowing that at some point just the written name that was hers will bring tears, but also comfort. We listened to this music together.. We sang the songs. She closed her eyes and fell asleep. I held her warm gentle hand.

The ways to comfort another is a custom fitting type of operation. Drawing on what you know of them, and with many of your previous points of connection gone, what is stripped away is the primal urge to let them know they are loved, in the past present and future, and that they mattered.

They took up space on this planet, and their life affected yours. It is not all “ hearts and flowers,” it’s the harsh words, the airing of your junk, and the asking for forgiveness when you hurt them, and they you. You draw closer, and linger.

It’s the humble art of meeting one another heart to heart and soul to soul that happens at the bedside of your loved one.

Singing” I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses..” because I have walked through the garden, as has she, and we have heard the sounds that bring delight and solace from the bird song, the wind, and the scent of floral blooms throughout the yard.

The profusion of color never disappoints. So many varieties, shapes, and scents.

When I worked at a florist and nursery in my younger years, I couldn’t wait to go into the floral fridge to gather up a bouquet for a customer. I would get giddy at the prospect. As I opened up the cool fridge door, I would inhale deeply of what was contained.

It was the most excellent smell, and because I often get caught up in the moment, I sometimes forgot that I was in there gathering blooms for a client.

Some may like the scent of a bakery, a chocolatier shop, an ice cream store , or a perfume counter at a department store, but to me the floral fridge has got it going on.

It is the breath of fresh air that coaxes me to take the next step into the promise of what’s to come.

2 thoughts on “About as fun as a root canal

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