At Christmastime every year I have a ritual I go through without fail: There are certain movies we as a family must watch together at least once during the holiday season. Some of those movies are fun (Holiday Inn) some are touching (White Christmas) and some are just plain feel good movies that take place around the holidays (While You Were Sleeping). There is one other though, that I always try to leave for nighttime viewing because it just feels right to watch it in the evening (A Christmas Carol, with my favorite Scrooge, George C. Scott). This year, because of our recent change of churches, we found ourselves without a service to go to on Christmas Eve because our new church held its service (with a play my daughter was in) several days before the actual holiday. That then, was why I saved the ‘Christmas ghost movie’ for Christmas Eve.


After it was over though, it wasn’t the visual images from the movie that stayed with me, but the mental ones. We are all haunted by ghosts from our pasts, I think, and not just at Christmas. For me, on this year, some of those ghosts took on a very strange form: Ghosts of teeth root canaled in the past, ghosts of teeth that have been extracted in the (recent) present, and finally, ghosts of teeth yet to go? I’m glad I can still find some humor in this situation, and especially the ability to laugh at things that make me want to cry. My mouth is now a mass of holes (counting from the center to the back on the upper right, I have tooth 8, I’m missing 7, I have tooth 6, am missing 5, 4, and 3, and then have tooth 2 all by itself in the back. There is no chewing surface remaining on the right side, and as I wait for the new holes to heal (and produce new cavitations?) I am at a loss at what to do next. I’ll need to get teeth added to my flipper, but that is not a permanent step, because the flipper is not permanent. And I tuthfully don’t know what the permanent solution will be yet, either.


I don’t know what I expected when I went to Texas, but this wasn’t it. I can’t believe things could have gone like this, and even worse, how little my life has changed for the better, even after all that has been done since I went. I still have an unknown pain in my lower right jaw, and I’m still taking Motrin, once in the morning just to get through the day, and once in the evening just to get through the night. Yes, all the mercury is gone, and that is important. But has there been improvements in other areas of my life? I haven’t come to a verdict yet.


All right, my stated intention last time was to look at the GOOD changes that have occurred, and to go forward counting my blessings. I do realize I haven’t really done that, so here goes: I did have a good day Christmas, and I’m counting the blessing of having a loving husband who can cook! With family coming for dinner, he fixed almost everything, and the meal was superb. So, yes, he is a major blessing! I also have close family on both sides, a nice home, and a God who loves me. Looking at all that makes me feel better. Still, I can’t help thinking that all those GOOD things were in place before I went to have my teeth done.


So now, as I look at what I’ve written, I have to say that next time I plan on focusing on some of the BAD stuff. Maybe I can find the GOOD while looking for the BAD the same way I found the BAD while looking for the GOOD.

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