During this trying period, our office will be closed from March 16th to March 30th.
For me it was a very hard decision.
But when I made the decision, I thought of a story that Sarah’s grandpa told me.
Sarah’s grandpa just celebrated his 99th birthday. He too, was a dentist.
He grew up on 80th and Ashland. He went to Weber High School and then attended Loyola University and later Loyola for dental school.
He graduated from Loyola Dental School in 1944.
Immediately graduating from dental school, he was shipped off to Camp Crowder to help treat our military men and women’s teeth in the army.
Serving in WWII was one of the best things that happened to Leonard. In Camp Crowder he met this hot to trot nurse, named Eleanor.
She was this sweet farm girl from Caledonia Minnesota. They met at an Army dance and, through letters, fell in love.
When he found out that Eleanor would be at the Denver Airport, at the same time as him, he decided he needed to seal the deal and proposed to her.
They soon got married and their first daughter, Susan, was born. Leonard would not be able to enjoy the birth of his daughter, because he was shipped back to serve in the military. Eleanor went back to the farm, to have her first daughter, back in Caledonia
After serving in Europe, Leonard came back to his neighborhood and opened his dental office on 80th and Ashland. He began to work night and day and slowly he began to build his practice.
Then Leonard got a letter in the mail that told him, his government needed for him to serve AGAIN.
Even after fulfilling his time in the army, during WWII.
He closed his office and 2 years later, came to a practice, that no longer had any patients.
When Leonard first told me this story, I remember that I had this rage in me.
I remember thinking, “You did everything that was asked of you. You fulfilled your end of the bargain. Then you came back and put your blood, sweat and tears into this practice and came back to nothing.”
Just a bunch of used equipment.
I was putting myself in his shoes and imagined how I would feel if that happened to me.
Then I asked him one question, “Were you angry when you came back to an office that was completely worthless? An office that you worked so hard to build and was forced to leave it to go to Korea?
His answer caught me off guard. It was priceless.
He said he was not angry, when the US government asked him to go to Munich during the Korean War, and serve another duty. Even when it meant leaving his dental practice and his family.
Surprised, I asked him, “Why not? I would be.”
His response was this, “It was my duty to go to help my country.”
This is how I feel now about shutting down our office in lieu of the COVID-19.
At first I was scared. I’ll admit it. Being a small business owner and have no money coming in, is very scary.
Also, my staff depends on their check, to pay their bills.
But now, I’m believe we are resilient and we will get passed this.
I really appreciate all of the support we have been receiving from our patients. It is great to receive all of you emails. It really means a lot.
We will get through this and will meet you on the other side. Emilio Couret