A chipped tooth recently gave way to a Pandora’s box of memories. This year marks my 25th anniversary of living in Sudbury, and my heath-care providers, business associates, staff and friends are aging as fast as I am!
This may sound trite to some, but while I was sitting in my dentist’s chair I was thinking, “What will I do when he retires?” The imagined answers upset me and made me sad. I’ve been seeing the same dentist for the past 25 years, and as well as being the world’s greatest dentist, he is a kind, gentle, caring professional whose demeanor is the reason I return time and time again for him to take care of my dental health.
I never liked sitting in the dentist’s chair and I suspect there are many who share my dislike of the dental procedures that happen there. But Dr. Tom Tiedemann changed all that for me. He turned my fear and loathing into acceptance and respect and, although it took some time, I actually look forward to the annual check ups and the occasional repair work.
When I came to Sudbury 25 years ago to study journalism at Cambrian College, I was a young widow with a six-year-old daughter, very limited resources and no dental or health-care plan. I can’t remember how it happened, but when we needed dental care, Tiedemann was referred to me as someone who helped out struggling students.
It was one of the best referrals I ever received.
By the time this issue of Sudbury Living is published, I will have addressed hundreds of graduating students at Cambrian College during their annual convocation ceremonies. Giving the Alumni speech this year is a special honour for me. It is just coincidence that it marks the 25th year I came to Sudbury.
The rest as they say, is history.
I started my journalism career at Northern Life newspaper as a summer student. It was tough work and it certainly wasn’t a nine-to-five job, but I loved it. When I graduated from Cambrian, good luck followed me. I was the only student in my class to actually get a job in my field. Northern Life hired me back as a full-time reporter. That was in the 1980s when jobs were very, very hard to find.
Sudbury Living editor Vicki Gilhula was one of the editors I reported to at Northern Life. I have worked with Vicki off and on for almost 25 years and respect her the more I work with her. She has been an excellent mentor and an important contributor to our success.
I have had the privilege to work in many aspects of the media business, to launch great magazines and events, and to work with talented and motivating writers and staff. I feel very fortunate for these opportunities.
Retirement is not in my immediate future—I have two daughters in university—and I love my craft way too much, but I am concerned about losing contact with all of those people who have come into my life in the past 25 years and who I have come to rely on for health care and professional needs.
It’s one aspect of growing old I am not looking forward to.
Patricia Mills is the publisher of Sudbury Living.