Blind and Toothless
It was a rough winter in the Sokoloff-Gross household.
My darling dad died in December, following a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease.
A few weeks later, following some routine dental work, I became plagued with severe mouth and tooth pain. My return to the dentist led to three different specialist visits; all of whom had different opinions on the problem. The pain persisted.
Then, there was a two week episode of stomach issues that I won’t even go into. More doctor visits followed. And then…the head cold to end all head colds.
In the midst of all of this, plus working full time, we were attempting to get our house ready to sell, and also planning a trip to Thailand to visit my daughter who has been teaching there for the past five months.
But, then the piece de resistance occurred. One icy morning, five days before our trip to Thailand, Michael fell down our icy front steps. He hit his head, turned his ankle and tore his quad tendon. After four days of x-rays, scans, Advil and second opinions, the doctors reluctantly agreed to let him travel.
After all of this, my anxious, fatalistic side started wondering, “Is all of this a warning to deter us from going on our trip, some cosmic attempt to keep us from some larger unforeseen disaster? Or, is this our opportunity to press a giant reset button on our lives?” I wanted to believe the latter, but anxiety and doom filled thoughts swirled through my mind.
My Dad used to tell the story of his and my mother’s honeymoon. My dad was just out of the army and in his first teaching job, with no money and not even a nice suit in which to get married. Following a tiny wedding in the Rabbi’s study they drove to Atlantic City for a few days. Somehow, my mother broke her glasses and my dad cracked his tooth. “We were blind and toothless”, my dad would declare smiling, “but we were happy and in love.”
So, there we were in Thailand: my tooth still throbbed sometimes; Michael limped along, at times with a cane or leg brace, knowing surgery was just around the corner. We were lame and toothless, but swimming in far away oceans, eating passion fruit and mangosteens, meditating with monks and climbing 510 step temples to the sky. It had been a sad and difficult winter. But we were happy and in love. In Thailand.
I had chosen to press Reset.