Chapter 19. The Skill No One Can Learn

Routine visit at the dentist before Sam leaves to go work on the boat for 2 months. He needs to prepare it before the rest of us arrives for good. It’s coming very fast.


-Man…these gums doesn’t look good, the dentist says to Sam.

-That bad?

-There is almost nothing covering the teeth at the bottom. You need a surgery, quite quickly actually.


-You’ll need a surgery for the left and one for the right. You also have a cavity. That’s a lot at the same time. Let’s schedule for your first appointment and the other one in, let’s say 1 month.

-I am leaving in 2 weeks.

-Geez…why didn’t you come before?

-I though it would only be a routine dentist clean up.

-… Ok. Let’s make the full thing all at the same time in 2 days. Let’s also plan for a follow up before you leave. You know Sam…you’ll need to get better at planning a bit these things.

-I can do that.

2 surgeries and a cavity fixed later, because they froze him so much he could not even feel his nose, his drool shapes like a finger.


Mel texted Sam later on.

“You’re ready for retiring from work Sam!  You head to Florida just like snowbirds do, and you already eat soft food!”

-Hahahahaha…aaayyyyy…Laughing hurts.

-Are you gonna have to learn to laugh without moving your jaw?

-I will have to I guess!



At the party organized by the daycare where Salty and Matey goes, corn is served. I tell him:


-You cannot eat corn…Are you really gonna just drink booze the whole evening and not eating at all?

-Yep! I totally can do that!

Dentist and medical appointment before departure: Matey got SO scared of the dentist, I actually had to take a photo of his mouth after we left and send it by email.


Few days before his departure, at a delicious family sushi dinner where Sam’s delicately removed all the nori around his sushi to eat only the soft fish inside:


-Well… let’s talk about the elephant in the room. We won’t see you for a while, you… Sam’s mom says sadly.


Sam smiles. His heart is full of happiness. Our adventure is about to start for real after years of dreaming. But he is also very sad to impose that departure upon his family, that he loves so much. They are going to miss us. We are going to miss them as much.


-You’ll come to visit me in the Caribbean, he says, knowing it cannot cheer up his mom, but not really knowing what else to say.


He leans toward his mom and hugs her. Tears are rolling on her cheeks.  His dad and sister join for a group hug.


You can get good at sailing, planning, fasting time to time and all kind of new stuff. But there is one skill we will never get good at : saying goodbye.


-OUUUUUCHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! Sam yelled because of his sister who just grabbed him by the two jaws to kiss him goodbye.

-I am SO SORRY! she says. But you are not leaving without a proper kiss, captain Sam!

-I can do that. I can do that.

The day before Sam’s departure, we received a package from dear friends from Germany who sent us this book…

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