Gums and a Love Bomb

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Grab a beverage. Shut people out. Spend a moment alone….this is going to be a LONG blog.


“And I walked and I walked. Right out of London. I walked all night until suddenly it got light.”

“Did you see the dawn?”

“Wasn’t it wonderful?”

“No…it was only grey.”

-Howard’s End


So, let’s start at the beginning. I had intended to come along this evening and blog for the first time in an awfully while about something as simple as the surgery on my gums last Wednesday. However, upon looking at my emails for the first time in such a span, I found that I was bombed with love.


The surgery on Wednesday was as a visit to the dentist should be: buzzing, whirring, face masks and laser goggles. Yes, you heard me. Laser goggles. Dr. Seaver, who was doing the surgery out of the kindness of his heart, knowing I don’t have any money, was performing a very modern, very specialized surgery on my gums that didn’t require him to slice and gash a million nerves just to get to one particular part beyond the roots of my teeth.


With simple pinpoint precision he was able to move delicately through my mouth and work wonders. An hour later, the surgery was finished. Abruptly, quickly, Dr. Seaver puled off his own laser goggles and mentioned as he left the room, “Alright, then. I’ll see you in two weeks.” With a mouth filled with the heaviness of Novocain I screamed,ย  “Dr! DR!” He turned round and came back. “Yes?”


I fumbled through a muffled mouth. “How do I thank you?”

He returned, outstretched his hand and said, “I don’t need a nickel from every patient. I am quite certain at some point you’ll be in a position to help someone….and you will.”

He could see the tears swelling in my eyes, slipping down past the cheek, dropping to the sterile floor beneath me. The doctor excused himself and left, saying once more, “I’ll see you in two weeks.” In two weeks we’ll see if the laser surgery was a success and I get to keep my teeth.


An hour after surgery, Mario and I were in Kara’s car, heading for Ft. Meyers. Her mother’s house is down here and vacant until the end of the month. To make sure all was well with the house, and with my recovery, Kara asked if I’d like to come along, keep her company. “I make wonderful soup,” she said. And does she ever. Her split pea was phenomenal. I’m begging her to make it again before we leave.


We don’t have internet connection, nor cable down here, so throughout the day I knit knit knit like the mad man that I am, while she goes about her business. In the evenings, we rendezvous to the humid beauty of a summer’s eve on the back porch to play Cribbage. Mario spends her days resting in a large window watching birds.


I was able to splurge two days ago, not knowing what awaited me in my inbox when I’d come online today. I felt a splurge was necessary. Rarely do I get to treat myself to anything. But, Kara and I went to a series of thrift stores around Ft. Meyers to find me some affordable clothing. It’s hard living with only 2 pairs of jeans, a couple of fading t-shirts and a ball cap that has now retired to the trash. I wasn’t able to find anything that fit me. Being 6 foot and 125 pounds can have its rewards (yes, I am lean), but it can also have its curses. They don’t make clothes for stringy people like me. But, upon every thrift store we encountered I did find a set of treasures. Books. God knows I love books. I read constantly about anything and everything I can find. And this particular day was a whopping harvest. I found:


The Lord of the Flies (every man in distress needs a copy)

Shogun (been dying to read this since my grandmother was enamored with it before her death)

Memoirs of a Geisha (awesome book)

A Room With a View (by none other than my favorite author, E. M. Forster)

The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques (found 3 of the 15 books, had never heard of them, but the first page of each had me clambering for more)

The Joy Luck Club

The Four Agreements

Lake Wobegon Days

Angela’s Ashes (I poo-pooed it when it first came out, thought I’d give it another go)

Love in the Time of Cholera (a library should be filled with classics, rescue them when you can)

Heart of Darkness (and this is why I love buying used books, someone’s notes are in the margins, helping along the confused reader)

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (and this is why I love buying used books, someone’s grocery list is on the front cover)

…and a slew of others…..all for $3…

My stash was so big I found a REALLY nice canvas Eddie Bauer bag in olive that all my books would fit in costing me another $2.50. So, for $5.50 I walked out feeling like a king….I don’t get that feeling often. My life is accustomed to being whittled down to what I own. 2 pair of jeans, a handful of faded t-shirts, a cat I’d never part with, 2 trash bags filled with yarn…..and an Eddie Bauer bag filled with books.

Sometimes, that’s all anyone in his right mind really needs.


Now, moving on to what happened when I opened up my email today for the first time in a long time.


I was love bombed. I had never in a million years even HEARD of such a thing, but there it was. Over 3,000 hits to my blog, 250 comments that need moderating, and a world (literally) a world of people offering help, shelter, lodging, food, cash….but more than anything, offering love. Offering prayer. Offering hope….


Overwhelmed is an understatement. I have often said that all I wanted was a foothold. A fair share at what I could amount to. A simple, soft, readily safe place for Mario and I. There are wonderful people coming to my rescue, coming to the aid of a little man who won’t part with his cat just because it would be convenient for him. The world is coming to the rescue of a simple guy who breaks each day with a set of 4 double pointed knitting needles so that he can have dinner, shelter, and the occasional splurge on used books in the thrift store. The universe is aiding a quiet guy who has made some ripples across the cosmos with his story of using a hidden talent to find a way to not only survive, but to hopefully one day thrive.


I’m going to do wonderful things one day, my friends. Not for myself….but to anyone I reach close enough to hear, close enough to feel, and close enough to burden their sorrow. I know its pain, I know its heaviness. And one day, when I can, I’ll lift it from anyone who needs relief.


Going to spend the evening going through these massive emails. I can’t wait to find out how this love bomb happened, and to whom I owe my gratitude. (And then hopefully win another round of Cribbage).


And I’m relisting bears tonight. Be forewarned, it’ll be two weeks before you get one, but since it looks like so many people are asking for one, I’m just going to make them first come, first gain. ๐Ÿ™‚


….(just did a little jig in this little coffee house, on my way to the restroom, knowing the world, the universe, YOU are not going to let Mario and I fall through the cracks).




(“Only Connect”- E. M. Forster, Howard’s End)






  1. I’m so happy to see you post again! I’ve been checking every day for your next post since I first discovered your blog a few days ago (via the Love Bomb). I sent you an email; I know you have lots to go through, but I hope you have a quick moment to respond (or at least acknoweldge that you received the PayPal donation) as I’m willing to give more, but I wanted to ensure you received the first amount first. Take care. *hugs*
    ~Katrina M

  2. Greg –

    You had me crying as well. I truly hope we can meet someday. Maybe you should do some public speaking about grateful living.

    In love and peace and sending strength and love to you and Mario,


  3. Dear Gregory,

    I wept when I read your post. Really touching and heart-felt … your perseverance and joy at the small things are really inspiring.

    Life can only get better, you’ve gotta keep your head up!

    So looking forward to seeing more bears on the page. I’m living halfway around the world so I’m hoping to order some in August when I visit family friends ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I have nothing to say, only my silent happiness that you are fine and that may be the sprout of the new life you’ve been dreaming about for too long.

    Pax profundis & Big hugs

    Michel B

  5. Is Mario a girl!? I have a girl cat named Carlos ๐Ÿ˜›
    I love reading your words.
    Have a great day, whenever you read this.

  6. I fr one, found you through Regretsy and I am so glad I did. Your talent is inspiring and your love and devotion to Mario should set the standard for all pet owners.

    And as someone now faced with unemployment, you serves as a constant reminder of how we can all strive.

  7. Gregory,

    I’m grateful you have a moment in your life to do a little jig about. Let it be one of many moments.

    > Iโ€™m going to do wonderful things one day, my friends. Not for myselfโ€ฆ.but to anyone I reach close enough to hear, close enough to feel, and close enough to burden their sorrow. I know its pain, I know its heaviness. And one day, when I can, Iโ€™ll lift it from anyone who needs relief.

    We have NO DOUBT about that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I sent you an email through Etsy… let me know if you didn’t get it. I have no way of tracking that particular type of correspondence through the Etsy user interface. NO RUSH! I know you have many things to juggle right now. I’ll still be here when you have it sorted out.

    Shannon (from CO)

  8. You deserved that Love Bomb, sir! I know times can get tough and the hopelessness can creep in, but I hope you continue to stay on track and keep moving up. Your surgeon really said it best, and his sentiments made me think a good few minutes this morning.

    You really are an inspiration, and you’ve earned a bear customer (ordered that already!) and a forever reader who will be keeping up with the awesome things that will happen for you!

  9. It was so good reading this. I’m sure you’re going to be doing some wonderful things in your life soon, just like you said. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully I’ll get to read about it somewhere, and then I’ll know you’re living your life, just the way you were meant to.

  10. I was one of those commenters and I wanted to say you are more than welcome!!! I love the bears – and I love reading and knitting so you are fab!!!!

    1. A rockin’ angel from the UK? I’m not surprised. I’ve had loads of love and well wishes from the UK. I can’t thank you enough. I truly can’t. I offer myself over for anything you, or anyone else from love bomb should ever need.

  11. I came across your blog a bit late from Love Bomb because I was away from internet for a bit. But now that I’m back, I’ve been reading back through all of your past blogs because I am so touched and inspired by your story. I cannot imagine the place that you are in now but know that I am sending lots of love and thoughts your way. I’ve been searching for a job to no avail for a couple of months, and it gets pretty lonely, especially when you feel like you have to compromise anything you care about just to survive. But you haven’t done that, and it is beautiful. I have seen so much beauty and fullness as I have read through your incredibly difficult journey. Peace and blessings, my friend.

  12. Hi! I just came lurking by through the Love Bomb. I hope you knit as well as you write. Reading your story is so comforting and hopeful. You’ll end up right where you need to be & you’re in my prayers.

    Sending some blessings your way from the Netherlands,

  13. Gregory – thank you for your lovely post – I have tears in my eyes too!

    You are such a wonderful soul, and I wish only the best for you and sweet Mario. Should you ever find yourself near Seattle, please let me know, and I would be happy to fix you a cuppa something warm and a batch of my mushroom & wild rice soup.

    1. Oh, I’ve had some lovely people wish I could go that far west…..but, if your soup is as delicious as it sounds, I’ll be awfully tempted to toss Mario in a bag and head towards the Space Needle. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. I am so happy to read your update! I am so happy to hear you got your gums laserfied! Hopefully that helps you. What a great doctor for doing that for you for free. That makes me very very happy.:)))))))) Everything is going to be alright,I promise you this…You are so strong and so smart and so caring and a real human being with such a wonderful soul. Keep on fighting,and being who you are always! All my love to you and to Mario…
    Amy (Michigan)

  15. Glad to hear all is well and you got our bomb! I was beginning to worry ๐Ÿ™‚ and glad we were able to spread so much love. The world can never have enough! Glad to hear you have a good place to stay!

  16. That’s awesome that you got all those books and a bag to hold them for only $5.50! I have read some of those, and they are amazing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And glad everything went well with your surgery and that you enjoyed the Love Bomb. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. You have no idea how much I love books….or rather, I think you do. We went back to the thrift store today to get me a button up shirt. Which I did! An awesome blue and white gingham. AND! I got a copy of Wicked (read it once before and can’t imagine for the life of me why they made it a musical. That’s a POLITICAL BOOK), Two more books by Amy Tan and, oddly enough a copy of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. (Never read it, have always felt a kindred desire to).

  17. Ask and you shall receive!! This was the first Love Bomb that I had participated in and it was great! I can’t wait to receive my bear – I was one of the lucky ones to actually purchase one you had on your etsy site. Blessings and all the best to you & Mario!

  18. I have a small laptop (acer) that I had planned on donating when I got my desktop and am curious if you would like it. I can box it up and ship it, just let me know. :). Be well!

  19. I am hoping to catch one of those teddy bears as they get posted! I have an 11 month old little girl and I would love one with embroidered eyes (if possible). Do I have to special order for that? Thanks!

  20. You are WONDERFUL – I smiled so much reading this post!

    Oh, and it’s so great that you got all those books so cheaply too – I wandered into a charity shop the other day & picked up 6 for ยฃ3, which I was very happy with!

  21. Good evening Gregory and Mario. I just read your post about the dentist…and your thrift store adventure. You had me laugh out loud. I hope your both happy as clams curling up with one of your new books, maybe even having a pipping hot mug of something yummy. You tell such a great story. You are a wonderful writer and obviously, a fantastic knitter who is very, very talented. I WANT one of YOUR bears. I’ll pay in advance, make a donate or do whatever you need for you to keep doing your passion. You are doing a wonderful thing here….following your dream wherever it leads. I love being able to see all this powerful love energy dumping on you. ๐Ÿ™‚ You were my first “love bomb”. Keep up the good fight. Love, love and more love heading your way.Let me know about the bear when you can. I know you’re super swamped now that you’re famous. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. I’ve been coming back repeatedly since the Love Bomb hoping you’d be able to receive all of your messages. I’m glad you did!!! You are still in my prayers and thoughts and I cannot wait to buy a bear. I even told my husband your story and he said, “situations like that seem to have a way of turning around…he seems like a great person and I’m almost positive his position in life is going to change drastically for the better.” I’m excited for that day for you. And of course, for Mario!

  23. Hi again–I just replied to the love bomb post and saw this update, so I thought I’d drop a line here, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yay for love bombs and nice dentists! ๐Ÿ™‚
    And holla on the book haul! I love books too. (Is it weird that I like the smell of books, old and new? Well, not if they smell too musty and definitely not smokey. Or is it smoky? Which spelling?)

    Have you seen the A Room with a View movie? I remember liking it better than the book, which for me is rare, I think. (Pretty scenery probably had something to do with it….) Well, that and Cold Comfort Farm. How they got such a great movie from that book is beyond me.

    Anyhoo, I’m so happy for you and Mario (oops, who I totally thought of as a boy, but now I know better)!

    Take care! (Hope you don’t mind my rambling so!)

    P.S. Btw, I come from a family of tall and lean peeps myself, and I hear ya on how it can be a curse, too!

  24. Wow, coming here tonight (Friday) and reading all these posts for Gregory and Mario is making me feel all warm n fuzzy ๐Ÿ™‚

    I can attest to Gregory’s little bears being simply wonderful! I purchased one a few months back and he is adorable, he lives in my bookcase, along with all my favourite books and I often pass him and give him a little “pet” on the nose ๐Ÿ™‚ he has such personality and has come to being with such great love from his creator ๐Ÿ™‚

    I look forward to reading your next post Gregory, and till then take care my friend ๐Ÿ™‚


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