I put off having my wisdom teeth out for as long as I could, but my dentist insisted I schedule with an oral surgeon, which I reluctantly did. On the morning of the fateful appointment, as my mate was driving me to the surgeon's office, I felt overcome with terror. I was certain that I was going to die in the chair while under general anesthesia. With growing panic, I did everything in my power to calm my frightened mind: I tried talking supportively to myself, I took deep breaths, I turned the radio dial to soothing classical music, I turned off the radio for silence. . . nothing was working.
Suddenly, unbidden, in my mind's eye, one beloved relative after another appeared. They had all passed away--every one of them--but I could see each of their faces so clearly: My grandmother, grandfather, step grandfather, uncle Morris, aunt Shindy, aunt Rose and Louis, Jean and Harry, Ida and Si. In less than a minute, my mind had come to peace, returned home.
waiting in line
with loved ones
for my turn