The summer is drawing to a close, and that means it's time for all those last minute appointments ... haircut, eye doctor, and dentist. Today was my turn at the dentist.
I rarely went to the dentist when I was a kid. We had no dental insurance or extra money for twice yearly teeth cleanings, so, unless something was really hurting, we just didn't go. (Of course there were the four years of braces, but that's another story!)
But, from what little I remember, going to the dentist has really changed over the years. Back in the day, there were no dental hygienists. The dentist did everything himself. And do you remember the little spit bowls? You'd spit in it, and the spit would suck right down that little drain. I remember thinking that was pretty cool. And all paperwork was done by hand, of course. There were no computers.
Well, now I have dental insurance, which covers two cleanings a year. So, I'm off to the dentist's office faithfully for my biannual cleanings. Now there's a bright, smiley dental hygienist who cleans my teeth for me, and the dentist just comes in for a few minutes at the end. There's a nifty little spit sucker that you can put right into your mouth, so there's no need for the spit bowl anymore. And the technology! Computers are everywhere in my dentist's office, including mounted on a swinging arm right in front of the chair itself. I can see a whole diagram of all my teeth, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. My next appointment can be set before I even get out of the chair!
Today, just as I was getting settled into the chair and getting my little "bib" put on, I asked the hygienist a question about Bethany's next appointment. She tapped on her keyboard for a minute, and up popped up our family's records on the screen. I couldn't help but feel a little jolt as I saw our names listed ...
Yes, all four of our names were there, but Hannah's was grayed out. Ugh.
At first, it bothered me a little bit. I just didn't like seeing her name grayed out like that. But as I thought about it some more, I realized it wasn't bothering me as much as it once would have. So I started wondering why not. I mean, what else was I going to think about while I was sitting there?
Anyway, I finally came to the conclusion that seeing her name like that, in some strange way, proved her existence. Now, after nearly four years have passed since she went to Heaven, I never see her name anymore. And, of course, I know she existed ... she is the very heart of me, as is Bethany. But sometimes, it's just nice to see her existence validated. It's nice to see her name included with our family. It's nice to remember that at one time she did normal "kid" things, like go to the dentist. It's just nice to see her name.
And it's nice to know that even though her name may be "grayed out" on the dentist's list, it was written in the Lamb's Book of Life in bold print and all caps. And her existence now is so much more rich and full than it ever could have been here. So it was worth going to the dentist today, just for that little reminder!