Tears of joy, a story coming full circle..

(Tears of joy and overwhelming emotion...)

ON 12/12/11 I went to The ortho for my standard 2 week follow up. The power chain brought together the remaining gaps. He studied my bite, and then leaned back in his chair arms crossed, and proceeded to tell me that my little red turkey timer had popped out. "Your Done!" I was very confused and said "What ever do you mean?" In more detail, he described that the arch width was perfect, the midline, dead center. The seating of the teeth from left to right, perfect. He told me that unless I prefer to hang on to  the braces for security, "lets get these things off!" He told me that there is a final settling of the teeth that will occur once the braces are off.  He said that I could be "DE-BANDED" for Christmas!!  As I type that sentence, the pressure behind my eyes cause a flood of tears fogging up my screen. "Are you sure??" I asked. "Yes!" he then said to his assistant, lets make her molds for a retainer and schedule her for a de-banding."  I burst into tears as I lay on that chair.  This came as the most unexpected news. I had planned on  more archwire tweaking, power chain pulling, anything but a de-banding date. It occured to me in that moment, that I am at the end of my journey and the light at the end of the tunnel is within reach. All I need to do now is click my ruby slippers together and I will be home. It feel like a cosmic event, perhaps there is magic on 12/12/11!

In reflection, I feel like the infant who is now growing up and needs to "let go" of the security blanket or pacifier. I have come to rely on these braces to hold together and secure my bite. Letting go of them brings up a little bit of fear. I over hear the Orthodontist telling the younger patients that they need to start wearing their rubber bands, scolding them for not sticking to the plan. I have been the opposite. I find my self "sneaking" the rubber bands on as security. They feel like they hold my bite together. To imagine that I no longer need to carry in my purse, a baggie of "Sealion" or "Eleaphant" elastics, feels like a there is a huge space being created for something "new" to come in. One thing i know for sure, is that I won't miss the entanglement of food that hitchhikes behind the wires. No more swishing of water to free the food. No more accidental sprays of water across the table. I will get to invite "Grace" to breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I had imagined all along that I would wake up Christmas morning, free of braces, enjoying my new smile and corrected bite. I readjusted that hope 2 weeks ago when it looked like more time would be needed. So you can imagine how excited and overjoyed I am to realize that my dream will come true! I have received lavish gifts in Christmas's past but this year will mark my grandest gift of all. Surviving a double jaw surgery journey, and looking in the mirror to see the ultimate pay-off.  As I step into the new year, I will do so in complete alignment. I will enter with my physical, mental and spiritual all lined up ready to take on whatever beauty can be found. This process has taught me so many deeper lessons. I have learned how to  surrender, be patient, allow service, become dependent, stronger than I imagined, full of courage, hope, love, prayer, stunning friends and family. I can do hard things, and in the middle of the dark, can still find my light and shine it ever so brightly!!

I have come full circle. Today marks my third and final countdown. The first was counting down the days to get braces. Then counting down the days for surgery. And now, counting down the days to reach my light that has been there all along. To summit my mountain, and smile so big and bright! 9 days and counting. Will this be the longest 9 days or the shortest 9 days? I will soon find out!

One of the greatest gifts has been this blog, and the friends I have met along the way. I have found so much healing in just mind dumping all of my thoughts and feelings as I have journeyed along this very long path. I have the deepest gratitude for the technology that allows this lovely format!  And all of my dear cyber friends who have been so supportive.

Stay tuned... De-banding day countdown starts now.......

 The Last Smiles with my Braced Face. 


  1. What incredible news! Can't wait to see your debraced face! :)

  2. Yay! Congrats! So happy for you. Good luck getting de-braced and finishing your journey.

  3. Oh Tresa, what fantastic news. I am so happy for you. You look stunning, and very soon you will feel stunning when you're able to smile without being self-concious of the braces or worrying if there is any lingering broccoli in your teeth. So happy for you!

  4. What awesome new, Tresa! I cannot wait to see!! So happy for you!