My mother-in-law has worn a “partial plate” set of dentures for as long as I’ve known her. Then one day, “MeMa”‘s teeth disappeared, and their whereabouts would remain a family mystery for nearly ten years!
The saga began way back in the early months of 2002. My father-in-law was still living at the time, but his mental health had been on the decline for a while. We’d been watching him gradually slipping away from us. He pretty much depended on his wife for almost everything, just like a small child. He could still talk a little, but he could no longer carry on a conversation.
Then one morning, my MIL woke up to discover that her dentures, which were supposed to be soaking in a cup on the back of the toilet, were missing! After looking all around the house, she decided that her husband must have gotten up during the night to use the bathroom, and accidentally dumped her teeth in the toilet!
She immediately called my husband’s brother, who happened to be at home at the time. Her son came to the rescue, and began to dig up the sewage line running out of the house, in an effort to find the missing teeth. I can’t remember if he found part of the teeth or not, strangely enough, but I do remember that he didn’t find all of them.
In the meantime, my father-in-law suffered a massive stroke, just days after the teeth went missing. Life went a little crazy after that. He became paralyzed on one side, as a result of the stroke. His quality of life quickly went downhill, and he died within two months of having the stroke. My MIL’s missing teeth didn’t seem to matter quite as much anymore, and took a backseat to everything else.
After the funeral was over, and my MIL had recovered from the shock a bit, she had a new partial plate of teeth made, and the mystery of the missing teeth was all but forgotten for nearly ten years. She never liked her new teeth though, and constantly complained that they didn’t fit right (she still does).
My MIL is currently living in a personal care home, but my son, Brad, who lived with her prior to the move, is still residing in her house. The other afternoon, the son who dug up the sewer line looking for the missing teeth, stopped by to see Brad for a minute. The two of them were outside the front of the house, close to the mailbox. While the two of them were talking, Brad looked down in the dirt, next to the mailbox, and saw something tiny and white. He bent down for a closer look. There in the dirt, buried from being run over by the mailman’s car for mulitple years, was MeMa’s missing partial plate–still intact! Upon the discovery of the missing teeth, the son’s reaction was to say “Shit”, which we found hilarious when Brad told us about it.
So…after nearly ten years, the missing teeth have been found, but the mystery of how they got in the dirt, in front of the mailbox, in front of the house, remains a mystery…and probably always will!