I was recently engaged in a rather mundane and relatively mindless task when a rather profound thought dawned upon me, instilling me with a sense of awe, amazement, and, ultimately, gratitude:
I was standing on line at the post office waiting to buy stamps for our office holiday cards. I needed to buy 1,500 stamps for the 1,500 patients who have been to my office over the past three years. We have a postage meter in the office, but its ink is red, as are the cards we were mailing; hence, unreadable.
As I awaited my turn at the counter, I was blown away by the idea that I was sending out 1,500 holiday cards to people I truly know beyond a casual hello. I found myself ruminating over the notion that I have experienced up-close and personal interactions with that many people in just the past three years, and 20 times that amount over my four decades of dental practice. The actual number (15,000, 20,000, 30,000?) is less relevant than the impact of having touched and been touched by so many (mostly) wonderful people.
While my relationship with all of my patients has always been professional, I have been blessed with true bonds of friendship and kinship with so many of you over the many years we have been acquainted. I have witnessed countless lifecycle events: graduations, engagements, weddings, births, and deaths.
I have laughed and cried with you.
I have seen and experienced so much through the stories you have shared.
I have literally seen the world through your eyes without ever having to leave my office.
You, my dear patients, are a large part of who and what I am. You give me purpose. I love that I am a dentist, but more to the point, I am honored to be your dentist and will continue to strive to be the best that I can be for you and your well-being.
Thank you for enriching my life and entrusting me with your dental health.
Happy New Year!