Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Teeth Are Out

Jayden, my three year old grandson, greets me each morning when he wakes. He comes into my studio where I am customarily engaged at the computer, and he leans his cuddly body against my arm until I pick him up. Then we just hang for a while.

Yesterday morning he saw my lower partial plate sitting beside my notebook and he asked, “Grandpa, what is that?” I said, “Those are my teeth.” His head did a classic double take, as his uninitiated mind processed this response. With eyes wide in disbelief he asked, “What are they for Grandpa?” I picked up the partial and slipped it into my mouth, which was a mystery and an education to Jayden. “Can I see?” He asked. I opened my mouth and he smiled with satisfaction to see that I had a full set of teeth.

Today he met me in the morning again. “Grandpa, are your teeth in the box?” “No,” I responded. “Are they in your mouth?” I said, “Yes.” He said “Can I see your teeth.”

This is what my life has become. A partial.
I have a partial forefinger, which I snipped off in a bizarre accident last summer as I sat in a lawn chair with my other three year old Grandson Kale, and the chair collapsed. Only a partial or fractional number of brain cells remain following a 2005 Grand Mal seizure which remains an enigma. The missing cells seem to be in the short term memory department. I used to be proud to give a strong handshake but I can squeeze only partially now before the osteo arthritis kicks in. I skip stones with my grandsons at the beach but I can only throw partially as far as I once did. I sleep only a part of the night – old man syndrome you know. Good thing I enjoy early morning hours. It gets far too personal and private to mention more of my partial limitations.

But I am nevertheless a thankful man because I have the use of what remains of my forefinger, so that I can still paint my pictures and I have the complete devotion of these little grandguys and gals and I am favoured with the full commitment of a loving wife who is nothing but partial to me.

I better go brush my teeth. Jayden will come into my room any moment now.

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