Gifts for Christmas. Remember when all you wanted was your two front teeth? I recall when I was in first grade I lost my two front teeth. That Christmas the song “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” definitely resonated with being high on my Christmas wish list. My two little perfect, white baby teeth were gone and the wait for my permanent teeth was on. It seemed as though it took well over a year for them to come in. It was soon after Christmas that I finally received my wish, my teeth came in. Unfortunately, they took so long to come in that my back teeth had shifted and my front teeth came in crooked. As I look back on it, I realize now that the book All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum was accurate. I learned that sometimes when you want something you will get it, but it may not be what you want. All I asked for was two front teeth and I got two front teeth. I suppose I also learned a second lesson back then, when you want something be specific. I should have said all I want for Christmas is two perfectly straight white front teeth. Of course, that is when my parents taught me my third life lesson that you should always be happy and grateful for all you have for at any moment you can lose those things you are dissatisfied with and then you will realize just how important they were even if they were not perfect. Would you rather have imperfect teeth or no teeth? Yes, those crooked teeth were looking pretty good.
However, feeling my oats at the age of twenty-seven, I had forgotten the life lesson I learned. I decided to right the wrong and get my teeth straightened. The orthodontist informed me that he could straighten my teeth out, however, once straightened my teeth would be protruding and “buck teeth”. He explained that my mouth was too small and that my jaws had not grown properly. He advised that once my teeth were straight I would need to undergo maxillofacial surgery to correct my bite. I decided to undertake the nine hour surgery, my upper and lower jaw were broken, the roof of my mouth was sawed in half to expand the palate to accommodate my teeth and correct my bite. After the surgery, it took me quite a while to come out of the anesthesia. When I finally awoke, I had tubes down my nose going to my lungs and stomach, my mouth was wired shut and the roof of my mouth had a large plastic apparatus over it. I remembered the feeling of choking, blue lights started flashing and an alarm sounded. The room filled with medical staff and a priest started to give me my last rights. Another life lesson was learned by me. If you work too long on trying to fix one thing to make it perfect, you may lose sight of the big picture and screw up something else. That something else just might have been the loss of my life. I spent the next 2 weeks in the hospital with a cardiologist checking on me several times a day.
After the surgery, my mouth was wired shut for 6 weeks. I was unable to speak, unable to open my mouth, unable to close my lips together, I had no feeling in my lower lip and chin, I was unable to use a straw, and had to feed using a turkey baster to squirt fluids between my teeth into my mouth. It was a long recovery, stretching my lips so my mouth could close, prying my teeth open with a tongue depressor, and hoping my nerve ending would reconnect so I could once again have feeling in my lip to know if the glass I was drinking from was in my mouth.
During this time, I learned another major life lesson. Sometimes we take the little things for granted in our life. I never appreciated having the ability to use a straw until I could not close my mouth and use a straw.
The New Open World Corporation announced the New Seven wonders of the World, they included the Great Wall of China, Petra, Christ the Redeemer Statue, Machu Picchu, Chichen Itza, Colosseum and the Taj Mahal. After going through the surgery and the recovery, I realize that the true wonders are the ability to see, to hear, to touch, to taste, to feel, to laugh and to love.
Now as we head into the holiday season of wish lists and gift giving, let’s remember what is really most important. It isn’t the gift, the amount of money you spend or how perfect the dinner is. It is about accepting the things that are missing (my two front teeth), embracing the things that are not perfect (my crooked teeth), appreciating everyone and everything you have in your life (the seven true wonders of the world) and truly knowing that if we spend our energy bringing out the best in others, supporting others, expressing our appreciation of others and knowing that the meaning of life is love.
In this edition of the Spavelous “Now You Are in the Know” Spa Magazine, I would like to share some of my favorite things. They are great gift ideas to help your loved ones, friends, co workers, bring out their personal best. They are items that will warm the heart, improve the body and mind, express your appreciation and support their goals.
- Freedom of Choice: Wonderful Spa Gift Certificates
- Spa Gifts of Diamonds and Gold
- Look Fit and Fabulous
- Spa Stocking Stuffers