Saturday, May 3, 2008


Had a little scare this week when I misplaced my watch on Wednesday morning. The watch can be a forgetful thing. I put it on once I am dressed but this week it just wasn't in an obvious spot so I didn't put it on and then the day wore on and petty soon it was Friday and I was still not wearing it.

It got me thinking in a superstition direction. When my mother was slowing dying of cancer she and I took a trip to Greece. We cruised the Cyclades for 10 days on a small ex fishing vessel. Near the end of our trip we stopped at an island called Ios, it was a warm afternoon and we rode a bus away from the marina to a beach where we could take a swim. My mother was always a strong swimmer but the cancer, which had settled in her lungs had made her timid in the water. The boat had anchored at various spots and some of us had swum in the warm and salty Adriatic. She would not join us, she was afraid to be in the deep water with those compromised lungs. So she was excited to be able to wade into the water at this beach and paddle around.

When we got out and put our clothes back on she discovered she had misplaced her watch. It was a watch she had had for her whole adult life, a gift from her mother. It was an old Longines with a stained face, a delicate woman's watch that she had managed to keep with her for 50 years. Suddenly it was gone. The irony was not lost on me. She was dying and time did not matter, it was the beginning of the letting go. She died 6 months later.

I found my watch yesterday when I stripped the sheets off my bed. I was relieved. I still have time.

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