In my experience getting old is a good thing. I know, I know, I've heard all about how, "Getting Old Isn't for Sissies." That assessment is correct. Things become challenging as your brain power fades, your eye sight fades, and you may be faced with living with dentures. One of my beloved sisters of choice, is coping with going blind and deaf at eighty-nine. No, getting old is not easy. It is, in fact very difficult. Does that mean that life is miserable on a sliding scale of sorrow from 29 to death?
I was born old. Yessiree...not being able to breathe will make you feel old in a quick hurry. I didn't relate well to the kids of my age group. Well, there was that adorable little boy that lived around the corner who was in love with me. Ronny McClure, Irish Catholic, and as cute as a five year old boy could possibly be. He could ride a bicycle with NO TRAINING WHEELS! That achievement was ever so powerful to me. His eyes were blue as the bright sky, and his sunny blond hair was rumpled and tousled with curls. That was 54 years ago now but I can remember him clearer than I remember what I ate for dinner last night.
Science says that long term memory clarity and short term memory deficit are another sign of age. Or maybe my mind chooses to retain the best of the best in my memory? I mean dinner last night was pintos n cheese from Taco Bell. Not the most memorable of meals.
As a tiny child in a giant, adult sized bed in the hospital I heard clinicians whispering around me, "She won't live very long. She's too severely allergic. Her asthma is too severe, and she has very little immune system." Now that is a long term memory that I would LOVE to erase. AND YET...in that memory comes the realization that I not only lived...I found ways and means to THRIVE while I lived!!!
As I have moved through forty, fifty, and soon it will be sixty...I am filled with wonder. I am STILL ALIVE! I still AM alive. I awaken every morning to that lovely realization, I have more opportunities to live, grow, and experience!
I do not hesitate to give my true age when asked. I have earned each and every single year. Some of the years were hellishly hard. In fact, I jokingly say if I die and I'm ascribed to Hell, at least I will have seriously awesome coping strategies in place! (This is where we all laugh...hmmm...is typed laughter the same as canned laughter on a sit com)?
When we are speaking singularly of one dental bone that sticks up above the gum we call it a tooth. When we refer to more than one dental bone it becomes teeth. The title of this post refers to the loss of one tooth? Toothless? Or all teeth, teethless? Or some how when all your teeth are gone you are now toothless? Even though tooth is in reference to a singular item in your mouth used for chewing, in the plural form now it is called toothless? Ah....the vagaries of the English language.
Yesterday I had a miserable experience. I had all my teeth pulled almost a year ago. I had to have implants placed in my lower gums. Two implants that are affixed so that they will attach my denture to my bones. One of them was healed properly...HALLELUJAH! The other nasty, miserable, little beast decided to heal incorrectly! RATS!!!
I kept trying to tell myself that it wouldn't be too bad...I mean, my mouth was numbed and I had nitrous (laughing gas) on board. It was bad...VERY bad. It felt as though the dentist was trying to drill to my foot through my chin. (A fanciful idea, granted, but that's what it felt like). TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH! What a precious gift it is to be able to chew your food with strong, healthy teeth.
The only good thing about days like yesterday is that they don't last. Today, the sun is shining, I was able to dance. I didn't dance a lot, but it was lovely to move. I'm ALIVE! Those that love me think I look adorable without teeth. I don't necessarily share that opinion but I don't have to look at me. They do.
Back to the beginning. I AM still grateful to be alive. I still can reach out and love all those that are dear to me, and make new friends as well. I still feel well enough to dance, or go for a walk some of the time. On those days that I don't feel well enough to do active things that I enjoy the very most, I can still play on the computer, call dear ones, and sing.
Every day above ground is a cause for celebration! Even for those of us who are now rocking the toothless, teethless, look!