My mom, Lynn, loved medical shows – she could watch a surgery doc during dinner and excelled at this weird ER computer game we had on our Mac Plus (I could NEVER get through this game without killing the patient right away). She also had terrible teeth, and after a lifetime of avoiding her tooth-fate, I've found myself spending an inordinate amount of time in a dentist's chair this week. Leaning back, mouth flung wide, I found myself looking past the visored heads above me and replacing a blank ceiling tile with my mom's face, staring down at me as in a surgical theater, transfixed by the proceedings. This communion with my mother, however unorthodox, was intensely calming. Thanks, Mom. Happy Birthday.