On Dentistry and Decisiveness

Mayfield, OH

One of the joys of being a priest is that you’re always there for the big moments. You’re the one who marries that nice, young couple; you’re the one who gets to hold that baby as he’s introduced to the Lord; you’re the one who teach that hungry, young mind. But the joy of being a priest is also the sorrow of being a priest. You’re the one who’s there to say the last goodbye.

Floyd has left us. He has gone to be with the Lord… and to be with Emily. But his time here on this mortal plane was not wasted; I say it was not wasted, for that was a man who stood in service all the days of his life. There’s not a person in this village who can bite into a cracker or an apple without thinking of Floyd’s service to our teeth, and there’s not a person in this country who can wake up and know they’re free without thinking of Floyd’s service to our great nation in its armed forces.

Floyd followed the path of his brother when he joined the Navy, but he quickly took that path and made it his own. He was paid back for his sacrifice, and went to dentistry school with the money he got. After that, he moved here, and he never left. He never left, yes, indeed. In this world of disposability, temporarity, and ephemerality, Floyd made his decision and stuck to it like a man ought to. And once he decided that he was going to be the best dentist this village had ever seen, well… he stuck to that decision, too.

You all know the statistics—I’m not going to bore you by standing up at a man’s funeral and reciting numbers, but just think… just think about how blessed we all are to have a village with no cavities. Zero percent. Z-e-r-o. He took the burden of one apect of our lives off of us, so that we could concentrate on everything else just that little bit more. Now, I can’t even begin to comprehend how he did it. It’s like he would just show up and know the condition of your teeth without asking. But I guess that when a man decides… and follows through… great things can happen.

And great things do happen. And great things did happen. And you know you’ve done right if, when the good Lord calls you up, he leaves your fragile, mortal body behind with a smile on its face. God bless us all.