Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men

I’m writing these notes early in November, so I’m thinking more about the Thanksgiving holidays than the Christmas holidays.

by Joe Blaes

I’m writing these notes early in November, so I’m thinking more about the Thanksgiving holidays than the Christmas holidays. This year, we’re breaking with tradition and spending Thanksgiving away from home. The family will celebrate our traditional dinner the weekend before the holiday with turkey, our delicious chestnut dressing, cranberries, and all the other goodies that go with the day. Then it’s off to New York City a little earlier than usual to spend Thanksgiving with the Archbishop of New York, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, and some of his family. If you read this column on a regular basis, you know that he’s been a dear friend for over 35 years, and we feel blessed to be able to spend time with him.

We do hope to get a seat to watch the Macy’s Parade. We are fair weather people; sitting in the rain, snow, or cold is not to our liking. However, if the New York weather cooperates, we’re looking forward to our first live parade outside of St. Louis.

On Friday, we’ll have some time to relax in NYC and just chill together. We really need a respite from an extremely busy travel schedule this fall. I’ve been on the road almost every week. I was in California four times in October, and squeezed in a trip to Chicago with my wife, Sue, right before the ADA meeting. That trip was to see a specialist about Sue’s paralyzed vocal cord, a condition she’s been dealing with for over two years. Her recurrent laryngeal nerve was severed during the removal of a cyst in her neck. She’s had two implant surgeries that have not been totally successful. She still has a raspy, hard-to-understand voice, which limits her ability to be understood, particularly on the phone. Sue loves to talk, so this is very frustrating for her.

After a very thorough exam by the Chicago specialist, he determined that she needed to have the last implant removed and a larger, custom-fit implant placed to help her regain 80% of her voice. She’s decided to get that done in January in Chicago. We’re praying that this surgery will solve the problem. I know that some of you are thinking that having a wife who has difficulty talking would be a blessing. But believe me, it’s not! Say a prayer for her speedy recovery!

I must tell you that I still enjoy my time in my dental office, treating patients. Yes, I do still see patients on a regular basis. I know that being the editor of DE seems like a great job — and it is — but I get the most satisfaction from helping patients keep their teeth for the rest of their lives! This could be simple dentistry, or a full-mouth case that restores the patient to optimum dental health. This is so important for our patients’ health as we see the oral-systemic connection become more apparent. Inflammation is the problem! Go to for the latest research and join a great organization that’s on the cutting edge.

During this month of December, as many of us are celebrating our own special holidays and traditions, we will often hear the old familiar refrain: “Peace on earth and goodwill to men.” Now, more than ever, we as Christians, Jews, and people of all faiths long for just that for ourselves, our children, our families, and our country.

I wonder what would happen if we would remind ourselves each day to “do unto others as we would want them to do unto us.” I think it could make a big difference in the way that we treat one another. I feel that all of our lives would change for the better! So, why not try it? Make this your New Year’s resolution and see what happens.

Peace and blessings!

Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor

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