Warning, This true story depicts the life, care, and loss of a tooth; with intentional correlations to a deeply rooted love affair. Sense of humor is advised....
It was 18 years ago and I was the young mother of a sweet 3 month old baby, living in a frigid basement apartment right next to Utah Lake. My first husband and I moved to this area, just starting out in life and money was sparse. I contemplated this as I sat eating a pork rind when I felt the crunch of a back tooth.
Upon a visit to the dentist it turns out I had fractured a molar and at the time we could not afford the dental work to repair it. Taking the tooth out was only $50. I asked the dentist what the repercussions of this would be and he did advise, that perhaps, 20 years from now -the tooth above it may miss it and wander downward to find it. At the time, I was so young and 20 years sounded like a world away. This was a no-brainer, lets take it out! So we removed the tooth.
Fast forward to now. The upper molar is now seeking its long lost mate. Sure enough, on an 18 year odyssey, tooth number 15 is desperately seeking to be reunited with the lower tooth that is no longer there. Slowly, it has dropped down, filling in the space of the missing tooth. My current dentist indicated that it would probably be best if it was removed. He saw the disappointed look on my face and questioned me about it. "Well" I told him, "It's just that I have had that tooth for a really long time."
I mentioned this to my mother and she found it quite odd that even a tooth would miss it's mate and would actually go looking for it. I mentioned this to my Aunt, and she wondered what would happen if instead, the tooth was cavalier and had more of the attitude that it would be better off on its own.
But of course, I would find myself with "sensitive" teeth. Teeth with feelings, or "fillings". Teeth that go searching for each other... just my luck.
Tomorrow, I will go in for the extraction and in a note of seriousness and honesty-
There is a part of me that is proud of myself that I took the initiative to encourage good health in my body. After losing a spouse or loved one, it is easy to ignore personal issues that go on, or to put off appointments. It is much harder to make decisions, too. Especially when the person you would discuss this with is gone. These differences show in other family members as well. After caring for a terminally ill person, it becomes easier to see how fragile life can be. I can see this in my youngest child too. "Are you sure it's a simple procedure Mommy?" He asks with worry in his voice.
"Yes, baby it is." I say, "And you know what? Now both teeth will finally be reunited in tooth Heaven."
Which makes him smile. I am getting a bit long in the tooth now. Thanks for listening and wish me luck!