Smile

September 14, 2015 5 Comments

Every smile stung with pain. For years, every time I laughed, my hand automatically came up to hide what I found to be ugly in me, the mark of my past. I would talk to strangers, to potential employers, and think they know where I’ve been. They’re judging me. I stopped wearing makeup; I stopped seeing myself as a pretty girl. I never smiled in pictures.

Then there was the physical pain, insidious it would come, and I would cry. No insurance meant a dentist was out of my reach. My face would swell with infection, and I would find myself unable to sleep, losing hours at work, racking up another emergency room bill for a prescription of antibiotics I could fill for free at Publix. Each trip was accompanied by the refusal of narcotics. Relief would only come when the abscess started to heal. I lost the luxury to be able to mask that pain long ago.

I began working at Rethreaded, where there is no judgement, only love. It is a place where my past doesn’t matter, and I can strive to reach my potential. My expectations of people, and of an employer have surpassed anything I ever imagined. And then came the news that my life would forever change. Tears of joy flooded my face as I was told by Kristin, the director of Rethreaded, that a couple of dentists she knew wanted to fix my teeth. A few days later I showed up at the offices of Edwards and Cavendish, full of nerves and hope. The love and grace I received there go beyond words. Every detail was considered, and a plan of action was determined. Dr. Edwards told me it would be a long, uncomfortable process, but they would carry me through. Appointment after appointment I was met with the same compassion, and have become friends with one of their dental assistants. I could never thank those women enough.

Each smile shines brightly, and I laugh freely. I can choose to share my past or not. I am no longer marked, no longer do I feel instantly judged. I’ve stopped living in the fear of the pain. A smile can change the world. It changed my world.


5 Responses

Katie Dalbey
Katie Dalbey

September 17, 2015

So happy for you Jamie!!

Dr Edwards
Dr Edwards

September 17, 2015

It gave me such great joy to be able to help you. I want you to know you changed our lives as well. Your gratitude and amazing strength was a treasure to see. I feel blessed I was able to help you

Kathryn
Kathryn

September 17, 2015

Jamie: You have changed drastically from the first time you walked into my yoga class. I am smiling from ear to ear reading your amazing story – and am so excited that you have found a place at ReThreaded!

Simra Dalmida
Simra Dalmida

September 17, 2015

In tears because I remember the day we met and when you call thst day I was going through so much but God allow you to make that call. You bless me so. We serve a God that love to bless his children. There is power in Prayer. Thank you Lord.. I love you my sister! Keep pressing!

Sarah
Sarah

September 17, 2015

I am so touched by this story. I am so grateful for Rethreaded. I am so excited for you and your beautiful new smile that’s gonna bring change to the lives of so many.

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