The days of summer are flying by with the speed of wind-driven clouds. My son and his wife are spending their last weekend here before they fly back to their lives in Paris. We’re grateful for the wonderful times we had together, but like many parents, I’m already thinking of the void their absence will leave behind. At times like these, I understand better than I ever could before the longing in my family’s voice every time I left home.


My wife is an orthodontist, so it is not surprising that, because of its title, the following poem caught my eye. It serves as reminder of something I learned a long time ago: words, once said, can never be taken back. It’s better to walk away from an argument for ten minutes, allowing hot emotions to cool a bit, before hurtful things fly out of your mouth that can be forgiven, but never forgotten.




Reflecting regrettably on

My last words with you,

I am reminded by

The clicking in my jaw,

How great pain can be

Inflicted by such a small thing,

How so much of happiness

Can hinge on the motion

Of mandible and tongue,

How so much of joy can

Depend upon seemingly

Insignificant articulation…

Whether bone or word.


C. Scott Williams

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16 Responses to TMJ

  1. Beth says:

    Amazing that you should post that poem at this particular time.  My sister suffers agonizing pain with TMJ.
    I am always happy to see my children but I feel so alone when they leave, so I know what you are going through; and it does bring back memories of when I would visit my parents as a newly wed and the tears I would see in both my parent\’s eyes when I would leave.
    Enjoy these last hours together with your son and daughter-in-law.

  2. PJ says:

    Good Evening Jorge,
    Savor each and every precious moment with your beloved ones. I just lost my last remaining Uncle early Thursday morning. It is  very sad for my Mother and his family. He and my Aunt had been married 64 years. At least now he is painfree and with God.
    Until next time…Keep Smiling.

  3. Duckie says:

    It is always so difficult to say goodbye to those we love.  Enjoy, even though days are dwindling.

  4. Patricia says:

    With them living so far away, saying goodbye would be even harder…though in different areas, my three are still in state…not in the back yard but close enough to make the trip in one day…
    there is a double meaning to your poem, then…words have a lot of power…

  5. Lisa says:

    There is nothing worse than saying something you know you shouldn\’t have said and looking at the words hanging, tangibly, in the air, knowing you can\’t take them back.  How true this poem is.

  6. Sarah says:

    Ouch–yeah, brings back some memories of a less mature time in my life……….

  7. Marge says:

    Been there, Jorge…
    There\’s one good thing about misspoken words: once spoken, they are said and can\’t be taken back, but  lessons about discretion are there if one is willing to learn.
    I\’m beginning to learn at my ripe ol\’ age that regret is a useless thing, serving only to perpetuate inner suffering. Letting go of regret over past mistakes is to throw open wide the doors of possibility and wonderful things have a better chance of happening.
    Thank you for sharing a very wise poem.
    I\’ve missed you and am glad to see an update.

  8. Neora Chana says:

    Thanks for the reminder so cunningly written…

  9. Charlotte says:

    Oh that was a good one.  I was an office manager for an orthodontist before marrying Mr Guppe and moving to Colorado and can relate…  HOpe you and your son and his wife have had a great time.  hugs, lottemae

  10. dawn says:

    (lol) perhaps we were fraternal twins …….before :Pp.S:true. i love your post above, esp. the poem!

  11. dawn says:

                                      the day i left home                                  my dad looked older by all the years—                                  of separation ahead                                                                                                                     (((HUGS)))

  12. redvelvet says:

    I\’m okay . . . changing my life one day at a time but okay. Good poem good post. Glad you stopped by . . . I missed your comments. Good to know that you had some time with your son and his wife. My son is moving away again and taking my baby grand-daughter with him, so it\’s back to the empty nest syndrome once more. Thanks for checking up on me.  

  13. sweeti's says:

    H Jorge
    i talked  today  with  the ergotherapist ( a friend  at work) abt the fact that  some times ppl intentionatly  hurt others.
    Then its the best  to put urself in a ball…and  put  the negativ words  back..and try  not to react. Its the best thing to do.
    But not every one  is  capable of doing this.
    Well  Jorge  We dont have kids…But i can  understand  how it must feel  to see  ur loved ones go..
    But  remember….he is happy..Yes!!!!!!!!!! 
    Enjoy these last moments  and  as u know…there are a lot of communication things, nowadays.
    Paris  is very close to my place…The city  of lights….and love..
    Keep smiling

  14. Rama says:

    Thank you for visiting me after a long, long time. It is nice to know that, somebody remembers you and finds time to drop a line. You must be a very busy man, and I can understand.
    I can completely relate to your blog. My children too moved away from home, and in the beginning I used to find myself crying the minute I entered their rooms, but soon I got used to it, for they visit us on weekends and during long breaks from their work and studies. I look at the postive side : I no longer have to rush and plan what I would be packing them for lunch, or cleaning up their messy rooms, etc. When they come it is more fun to cook up their favourite dishes, and talk about their lives. So in a way i no longer miss them, and I still love them very much : with both giving each other their space and independance. However people often look at me strangely whenever I am asked " don\’t you feel lonely in such a big house with your kids away?", for i always tell them i don\’t miss them at all.
    Maybe because i am always thinking of them, and that has made them become closer to me, although they stay away from us. Finally I am not all alone i have a husband who thinks the same, and also a lovely dog who too thinks the same. I really love my life.
    Love, Rama.

  15. barbara says:

    Mr Williams said that quite eloquently. How true, that the spoken word can have such an affect for an effect on humanity. I too had my son come visit me in April for 2 lovely weeks. There were just not enough hours in each day to show him my world here and to simply be in the same airspace as he. It was lovely. Now it is my turn to visit him and I hope to do so in January as I have booked a 2 month visit in lovely Florida. I will escape the winter darkness of Germany and bask in the glow of my family.I hope you are able make plans as well.

  16. Jana says:

    One part of my heart is always left in my country and I miss my friends and family very dearly.

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