Theme Thursday again and I'd forgotten completely about this until I saw that the theme was Clock
There was a clock that hung above my mother in law's mantle in their old house in Baulkham Hills. It was one of those small 'granfathery' style clocks, timber surround, roman face and a pendulum that had a rather soporific tick. I've done some things to the tick of that clock I don't mind telling you from making love on her couch (thank God she doesn't read this) to breastfeeding babies and rocking to it's gentle rhythm.
The clock, was promised to each son as a gift for their first born. I won the race when squishy little pinky ClareBear entered the world as we know it on the 4th December 1984. The clock was still very much in use and was 'bequeathed' to be awarded at a later date. I wasn't too fussed, it's not to my taste but a nice gesture and the beginning of a family heirloom.
On the 27th March, 1988 at 9:02, my husband was pronounced dead from a surprise myocardial infarction, caused the coroner said by a viral infection. A simple cold, a touch of the flu which had for some reason struck down this amazing person in the prime of his life at just 35 years of age.
The clock stopped. Just like that. For four days, the clock just stopped.
Distraught and naturally distracted by other things at this awful time, my mother in law didn't even bother to wind it up again, that fateful time still stuck on it's shiny brass face as if to mark this momentous but terrible occasion.
During the few days between his passing and the funeral, the house was full of people, tears, laughter, remembrance, champagne and trays of food brought by well-meaning friends and neighbours. The sun shone, as it often does in March . .warm and breezy . . four of the most beautiful temperate days. The flowers filled my mother's lounge (I hadn't gone home since), covered the piano and spilled out into the hallway, dozens of arrangements, everywhere and arriving every hour, every day. Cards lined every windowsill and the phone seemed to ring incessantly.
The funeral was held, we laughed, we cried, we gathered, we hugged, we caught up with long lost friends and relatives as you so often do . . over 200 people signed the visitors book with kind wishes and warm thoughts . . .
Then the house went quiet. Deathly still, sombre, sad as the realisation that this was it, life as we knew it had ended and something different was about to begin.
The day after he was cremated . . .the clock began to chime . . every 15 minutes then strikes on the hour, just as it always had and just as it should. No winding, no cajoling or encouragement. It just cranked up again and it was business as usual.
Like the time suspended in those four days for those us who knew and loved him, the time between Ray dying and the funeral, the clock had suspended belief, suspended time, ceased to tick or chime. It's pendulum stood silent sentinel as if in a moment of remembrance. Then, once all over . . .it's pulse recharged and it hasn't stopped ticking since. Although the chime is now too painful for my mother and father-in-law who still have the clock hung at their seaside home. It still ticks merrily and the pendulum sways but she's turned off the chimes, for them, there's little to sing about when it comes to the clock.
Don't be sad . . this was 21 years ago . .and this month one of my sweetest friends turns 21 . .strange little co-incidence! Time is relative, it's fleeting, it ticks and it tocks, it warps and it wends . . and just sometimes, for a fleeting moment, it stops . . .maybe that's why I don't really care much for clocks.