My Family

The story of my office began at the turn of the century when two couples came seeking their fortune as new Americans. One came from Sweden, and the other from Ukraine. Although Margaret and August settled on the South Side, and Michael and Mary on Chicago’s North Side, their children were destined to meet and become my parents. Neither Margaret nor Mary had ever questioned the fact that they would work to help support their families. Margaret’s mother functioned as an obstetrician in Sweden and later became a midwife in the United States. Mary’s mother was responsible for purchasing land and livestock, making their family farm one of the richest in their village in Ukraine. My mother held several research positions and opted to accept the position of Professor of Chemistry at a local college because it allowed her far more time to devote to her family.

If I had not decided to continue this tradition, generations of my family’s women would have rolled over in their graves. I have always enjoyed artistic endeavors, particularly jewelry making — which led me to an appreciation for the art that is dentistry. At the time of my application to the various schools, I could not afford to be denied access to a career option. So, I also applied to the School of Corrections at Chicago State University. I felt that since I had graduated from University with a double degree in Biology and Psychology, it would not be an extraordinary choice. My parents felt differently. They are both highly intelligent chemists and professionals in their own right, and were hoping to see me more challenged. They were overjoyed when I accepted a position at Loyola’s dental school. Years later, I find it ironic that through my study of forensic dentistry, I am moving closer to yet again encounter career challenges within criminal justice. My parents continued to hold their breath.

When my daughter was born, she came into a family who awaited her arrival with great anticipation as well as an extended family of patients and friends who showered her with gifts of their time and mementos of their affection. Although she is an only child, she has never felt the void of loneliness due to the kindnesses extended to her by all of those who surround me in my work and leisure.

While my daughter used to attend dental field trips to Chicago schools with me as “Ruth the tooth”, allowing the children to brush and floss her various surfaces, today she is very busy finishing college and caring for her very own family.