We had a wonderful time celebrating our 30th anniversary during the month of November. Two “Thank You’s” still need to be addressed. The second of these involves the final details for the scholarship that we plan to sponsor for a graduating Hillsborough High School student this year. These final details will be completed in the beginning of January 2015. We are very excited by this opportunity to give back to our community in this way and look forward to sharing these details with you in the upcoming weeks.
So now it is time to get on with the single remaining item on our “30 Days of Thanks” list. This particular item has been saved for last, as it is arguably the single most important Thank You which must be expressed. For those of you who know me fairly well, it will not be surprising to learn that I have reserved this key position of respect and gratitude for my wife and partner Elizabeth.
As I shared in an earlier article, I met Liz in 1984 (also 30 years ago). I had just begun working at a dental clinic in Wayne, New Jersey where I had the good fortune to be assigned to a specific dental operatory in that rather large facility. When I entered that operatory, I was greeted by this attractive 19-year-old brunette named Liz, who had been assigned as my dental assistant. I don’t really remember the particulars of how our first day unfolded, but I know that neither one of us could have been considered a “seasoned” dental practitioner. We worked together for a few months while I was absorbed in the process of opening my own dental practice in Hillsborough. Realizing that I would soon need a dental assistant at that office, I had the foresight and good sense to ask Liz if she would be interested in joining me there. And the rest is history.
Those were very exciting times as we set about to build a practice from nothing. It was basically a blank canvas, and we savored the opportunity to help people and make a difference as we grew both professionally and personally. Even from those very early days, Liz became my partner. As there were only two people in the office, we had a lot of shoes to fill. Of course, we were dentist and assistant. But we were also contractors, marketers, financial experts, janitors and decorators. Thank you Liz for your 30 years of hard work in all of your capacities.
From the very beginning, having the ability to discuss with a trusted friend and partner all the many decisions which had to be made and all the issues which presented themselves was priceless. And, to this day I still count on Liz to help me work through problems and important decisions as they arise. Thank you Liz for being my confidant, sounding board and business partner.
I have always felt the need to continue learning more about dentistry as well as the management of our practice. As Liz would frequently attend classes with me, she and I grew together both professionally and personally. Over the years, we became closer and closer friends. Eventually, we had the good sense to become not only best friends but also husband and wife. That was eleven years ago, and I count my blessings every day for having sealed the deal. Thank you Liz for being my loving wife.
Finally, it’s not always easy or fun to be the boss. Liz reminds me every day that once the office door closes behind us, she is no longer my assistant. As long as I remember that, our happy home stays happy. More importantly, she just has a way of being and feeling that I admire and try to emulate. In particular, she has three personality traits that make her special. First, she never worries about the small things nor is rattled by other people’s comments or actions or situations in day-to-day life. She’s generally calm and positive – traits I can only wish for. Second, I have never heard her speak ill about any other person. She apparently took a lesson from the proverbial Aunt Martha who teaches us to “say nothing if you have nothing good to say.” This is an uncommon positive trait in this world. And third, she is a trusted, caring and uncomplicated friend to many. When I first met Liz, she was rather introverted. Now she is the more outgoing one who has a natural way to attract the friendship of so many. Thank you Liz for inspiring me by just being yourself.
I have thought about writing this Thank You article to Liz for some time and one line from a movie has been stuck in my head as the perfect way to close this blog. In the movie “Jerry Maguire” there was a character named Dickie Fox who was the Tom Cruise character’s mentor. Here is the perfect way he summed it up:
“Hey, I don’t have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.”
All the best to you in 2015!