I was blessed with strong, slightly crooked but solid teeth. I’ve always taken care of my teeth as well, only two cavities in 50 years.
When I learned that one of my newer fillings had allowed some decay underneath I was sad and I felt a little betrayed because the silver mercury that this new filling replaced had been working just fine for 35 years. Now my new fangled 8 year old filling failed and now I needed a temporary crown and some additional “fill”. Sitting in a dentist chair trying to remember how to swallow is not how I want to spend my golden years, and I don’t know why but it seems to get harder each time I go back to the dentist so I’m a real dedicated tooth cleaner. I’m holding up my end, I want my fillings to do their part as well.
Last night, alas, my temporary crown broke and apparently part of my molar chipped off as well. As I regarded this tiny piece of tooth I felt so sad and a little bit afraid. There, summed up in my hand was a small lump of calcium I had carried with me and depended on for 50 years. I had no extra pain, thankfully no actual root was exposed, just a metaphysical one…the metaphysical core root: the fear of decay and death.
This loss, the feeling of loss that I associate with aging, seems to visit me more and more these days…like when I “Windex” my glass table top and look down to see a gray-haired and slightly saggy lady looking up at me. Oh, natural dark brown tint, how I miss how you made my scalp not pink.
Reader, I know you scoff, I hear you say the refrain, “Oh, Maria, you are doing so well…who are you to complain?” It’s true, I have my health right now and I revel in it. But it is a skittish creature and I must scurry after it each day by stretching, and moving, and choosing my meals wisely. And each time a little bit of my youth chips off, I know I’m allowed to feel a little loss because I am human and this incarnation of me won’t last forever. Just bear with me for a minute while I sit with this feeling.