Friday, April 1, 2016

"Mrs. Meyer Bought the Farm"

Mrs. Meyer Bought the Farm”

I was to pay another visit yesterday afternoon, after the snow storm. But my car was struck by a piece of falling ice as I took my uncle out to eat. We went over to the Brazilian Grill to celebrate 'the Old Calendar Year' (to Chinese is it the Chinese New Year). Last Thursday, I finally got my haircut at the Off The Top of Orleans, MA. It took four months to get a haircut. But Mrs. Meyer did not wait for me this time, she passed two days before I thought of paying her a visit. As her dentist, I took care of her ailing teeth over a decade. I actually bought some of her favorite chocolate this time and cranberry fudge at the Chocolate Sparrow. But I was too late.

Mrs. Meyer and I used to attend the 11:15 morning service at the Church of the Holy Spirit, Orleans, MA. About five years ago, this service was phased out, most of our parishioners passed, or passing. I am one of the rare parishioners that enjoyed the old rite, the Rite One. We actually could relate to the High Anglo-Catholic services at the Church of the Advent in Boston, MA. I was there during my clinical clerkship at the Mass General. Those services gave me peace and helped me through the most challenging time of my life. Few of people today know what it is like to sit in a service, in high mass with sung Latin. Still Mrs. Meyer passed, she finally bought the farm.

As a small town dentist, I struggled with her ailing teeth. Soft teeth we call it. Everything I did in her mouth eventually fell out due to decays. I suspected that she enjoyed sweets. That was confirmed by her confession, she had a sweet tooth. When she was too weak to stay in her home, she moved in to the 24-hour care at Pleasant Bay Nursing almost a year ago. She could not wear her “full upper” so I was summoned in the late Spring last year. I tried to reline it, but it was too heavy and it did not fit. In the end, I took impressions and made a new one, all the time, she was not able to come into the clinic. So I brought the clinic to her, paid her many house calls. It took another season before I was satisfied with the new denture, meanwhile, I brought her our own fresh cut flowers. Sometimes, I brought along my kids. The new denture made her look wonderful, and after a whole season of mush, she could now chew properly. So I did ask her how she enjoyed her food at the nursing home. “Terrible,” she said. Food has the taste of cardboard, without much taste to it. She then raved about her favorite cranberry stuffing at our Hearth and Kettle. That morning, I went out and ordered her one full Thanksgiving Meal. I thought it would be a great idea since her son cannot come to visit her. He's got too much work in the MidWest. So I brought her “Last Supper.” I continued to visit her, and I became known in that place as the “Happy Dentist.” The nurses would say, “Oh, you are that happy dentist she talks about!”

This one last time, I missed our visit by 4 days. And Mrs. Meyer bought the Farm. Well, I imagine Mrs. Meyer is now free. She is no longer plagued by her soft teeth and ailing health. She is free from the confines of her bed and now soars free above and beyond the skies. For those of us who have not bought the farm, Mrs. Meyer, do once in awhile drop by and say a prayer for those of us who struggle and try to do the right thing while making a living. My profession has been plagued by many problems as this country is in steep trouble. We still have to push five kids through college, and help them to be good and kind people. So that someday when they have “bought the farms,” that their lives would mean something.

Mrs. Elizabeth Meyer, we will all miss you. As a small organic farmer, I think of you when I plant garlic. When my tomatoes come in, I will make an offering to the God of the skies. After all, we all come from “the Farm” and each of us must return to our farms. Rest in peace. We will all miss your wonderful smiles.

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