March 2002
SNN Reporters
about SNN
magazine archives


The Important Lesson I Learnt
By Beverley Yu, Grade 13, Father Michael McGivney School, Markham, ON

In just a few minutes, it felt like my world had turned upside down.

Those words I had for so long dreaded to hear.

"You're going to have to have all your wisdom teeth removed."

Now, in my head, insert the music typically heard in horror movies when the knife-wielding maniac is about to attack their unsuspecting victim.

Yes, that is exactly how I felt. Myself being more of a chicken than all the Maple Lodge Farms chickens combined, you can bet that after hearing numerous "wisdom teeth horror stories" I was fretting the day when I too would have to have mine removed.

Days leading up to the date, I was a nervous wreck and trying my best to psyche myself up for it by putting myself in the mentality that "you only have to do it once and then you'll be over with it". However, that did not really calm my nerves but it was a nice shot. And then the big day came. The day I had to step up, stare my biggest fear in the eye and say to myself "I can do it". As I stepped into the dentist chair, I took one last look at my mother and hoped for the best.

I have to honestly admit, the surgery itself was not that bad. Same with the few days after the surgery when I expected to be experiencing excruciating pain. It was not until the fourth day when I finally felt the repercussions of having four of my teeth extracted from my mouth. The fourth day was experienced with much head spinning and nausea beyond belief – perhaps a side effect from the painkillers or fatigue. Even though the day was a bit of a blur to me and I was not in a completely sound state, it was that day that I learned a life long lesson that I will hold dear to my heart for the rest of my life.

Sometimes you are unable to truly appreciate the people and things around you that you take for granted until tragedy or misfortune strikes. Take September 11th for example. Now, everyone seems to try tolerating differences better, understanding the unknowns and realizing how precious life is. Often times, it takes a significant moment to change one's perspective on life and remould world views.

With my very own "traumatic event", I was able to finally open up my eyes and see things in a new light. I was finally able to truly appreciate an individual who has always been there for me, always provided for me, and always cared for my well-being. She has been my everything and my world and not until such a substantial event in my life was I able to finally admit that. She is…. my mother.

They always say, whoever "they" are, that we all eventually grow up and realize our nagging mothers have the best intentions and that we will thank them one day for all they did. "It's just a phase we all go though, to rebel against authority" many say while I'd smirk and snicker "yeah right, my mom is always going to my annoying mom". Mothers may seem to be a pain where the sun doesn't shine when you're trying to watch your favourite television show and she is there right behind, nagging you to finish your homework or the never-ending chores. Or when you want to extend curfew for an hour and she puts her foot down and refuses to be the least bit lenient. Yes, at the time, you may become so aggravated that you just want to pull out every last strand of hair on your head.

But as I sit here reflecting, though this sounds trite, I owe everything to my mother. When I was on the couch feeling nauseated and unable to do things for myself, she was there. Just like all the other times when I have been suffering or in pain, she's been there. With such gentle care and concern, she helped me in every way possible. The unbelievable thing is that she did everything for me, all through my life, without complaints or strings attached. Every day, she cooks, cleans, and everything in between and have I ever bothered to realize all the things this amazing woman does for me until now? Maybe on a "Hallmark card" occasion but otherwise no, and I am ashamed to say it.

Now that I am finally able to appreciate my mother for the wonderful woman she is, I vow to change my life. I will help out whenever possible may that be in cleaning, cooking, washing the dishes, everything. I will embrace her and try to show her my appreciation not just on special days of the calendar year but every single day. It's time to lose the selfish, self-centred attitude I have carried on in the house for so long and realize how grateful I am to have my mother with me.

I write this here to encourage you, the reader of this article, to look within yourself to see how you treat loved ones in your life and if there is any way to improve your relationship with them. It may very well be something you will be thankful you did because time on this Earth is very uncertain and there is no sense in losing valuable time doing fruitless things. Appreciate every moment you have with those you love and make sure you don't look back on certain relationships with regrets and sadness.