A toothache and a sparkling thank you!

Illustration of a happy tooth being brushed with a toothbrush

It’s when I brush my teeth that I think! Yes, that’s a bit strange isn’t it? But the comfortable feel of toothbrush bristles on my willing-to-be-massaged teeth lull me into a relaxed state, and that’s when ideas, thoughts and plots jump out of my mind, waiting to display themselves on my laptop or a white sheet of paper.

But today, those creative juices stopped as I was suddenly shaken awake from my toothbrush reverie. I realized with a start that something was missing, and realize that there was no pain!

No pain, you ask?

Yes, for days on end a cap had fallen of a tooth, which started hurting as soon as the bristles rubbed against the open tooth. “Ouch!” would scream a million or maybe a trillion nerve endings, and “Ouch!” would scream the owner of those trillion painful nerves! And in a jiffy, the toothbrush would be out, along with a rinsing with cold water from the tap, which stilled the pain to a certain extent.

A visit to the dentist the day before had capped the tooth, and now, I realized my early morning episodes with pain!

And as my creative thoughts started coming back today to their normal time-table, my toothbrush stopped as also those thoughts, as a spirit of thankfulness came over me, because of the lack of pain.

How soon I’d forgotten how painful the last three mornings had been!

How soon before I’d got back to my old ‘normal’!

As I put my toothbrush back into my mouth knowing there was no need for cold water today, I started wondering at the many times we forget to be thankful when we get back to the ‘normal’?

I remember a few months ago, as my doctor wife lay sick with Covid-19, and I had spent restless and nervous nights and days partitioned away from where she lay, how terrified I’d been, but was I thanking God today for the ‘return to normal’.

And as the toothbrush made its mandatory rounds inside my thoughtful mouth again, I thought of other instances which had so quickly been forgotten, and where a spirit of thanks had disappeared.

I started feeling thankful; I started whispering a ‘thank you’ to a God above.

It seemed my toothbrush joined in the thanks as it beat a happy rhythm against the insides of my mouth.

“Be careful!” hissed a devilish voice into my ear, “You may break a tooth with your happy brushing!”

“No I won’t!” I said. “Such thankfulness only drives those mishaps away!”

And my toothbrush agreed, as my teeth and the new cap on one of them, sparkled with joy!

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Robert Clements
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Robert Clements

Robert Clements is a newspaper columnist with an estimated readership of 6 million. He also conducts a short-term writer’s course. Contact him on bobsbanter@gmail.com for more details.