by Kathleen Sheehan-Moore
(Burnsville, North Carolina, USA)
When I was a young girl I loved to dance and I really thought that I would be a prima ballerina one day.
Unfortunately, I had a problem with my feet that prevented me from going forward. With nine children, my parents could not afford the surgery, so it was never even considered.
As an adult I had a wonderful career as a scuba instructor. I loved the water, the weightless feeling, and all the beautiful critters that lived under the sea.
My work was very important to me as I felt I was giving people an opportunity to know this beauty. I hoped that as they learned to dive they would also learn why it is so important to care for our earth and each other.
Unfortunately, after 10 years of teaching I got Decompression Illness and I had to give up diving.
Now, at age 60, my body is aging, I find that I really don’t mind the changes because I think that I still have a lot to give.
I still want very much to share some of my life experiences with others. Experiences like learning how to dance the blues away; or traveling and diving in Latin America; or being lucky enough to be involved in the search of Mel Fisher in his quest for the Senora de Atocha, a Spanish galleon.
In order to do this I feel that I need to present a good face (and teeth) to the public. I have lost many teeth over the years and with my teeth I have lost a lot of confidence. I now wear a very uncomfortable partial which I must remove at night to sleep. It sure would be nice to wake up, look in the mirror and see a confident, accomplished woman looking back at me instead of a toothless old lady!
Even more than this, I need to feel that the efforts I have made in life which were cut short can come to a place where I have passed on what I have learned.
Perhaps I will not be dancing or diving but I will be sharing my experiences with others. Then when the time comes, I can take my final bow with peace.