What She Taught Me
Truth, and goodness, and beauty are but different faces of the same all.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
A smile filled her face eternally and she seemed incapable of ever being self-conscious. Despite that, the first time she arrived at my office for an appointment, my eyes were drawn — not to her smile or the twinkle in her eye, nor to the stark whiteness of her upper denture — but to the surgical scars crisscrossing her lower face and cheek. Each crevice darkened and became more distinct whenever she worked the few remaining muscles into a laugh. The lines glowed. “Here we go again!” she would chuckle. “Heading down that cancer road once more!” She would shake her head and close her eyes but keep on smiling.