My mouth is full of cavities repaired with silver and gold; a crown or two (for a goddess?). Root canals have been offered up to avoid extractions – but my holistic dentist concedes easily to my wishes after acupuncture needles are placed for numbing the pain of the drill.
Being 75 I am greatfull to not have had to follow my mother and grandmother’s gum-steps to false teeth, although I enjoyed the scary laughter when Grammy pushed her false teeth out at me as a child, for fun.
Although I do not have dental insurance, I can afford yearly cleanings and repair; but choose to smooth the rough edges of fillings chipping off like eroding mountains, saving my money for traveling to a new unknown country once a year. With very limited retirement funds and years, who cares if my one front tooth lays over another – my niece says it gives me character.
Don’t get me wrong: I care about my appearance possibly more than most my age, as I still wear clothes I wore in the 70s, not being shrunken from 5’9” and gifted with only a few gray hairs like my mother who died at age 80 with maybe a dozen gray hairs. I use anti-wrinkle cream daily along with 20 minutes of yoga.
Health is my #1 priority as an old saying goes, “Health is Wealth,” which I read at Wegman’s this week on a man’s T-shirt, which this stranger allows me to photograph. (I never have seen this saying on a shirt before). But sinking my teeth into writing Our Love Story of the first two years of my 5th marriage, showing day-to-day dialogues struggling to grow more loving, is the gift I treasure most. More painful than the 3 extractions that provide more spaciousness in my mouth so I can be seen as braver by speaking up for myself, an opening of my heart which I treasure more than silver or gold.