My dad gave my mom money to shop for her own birthday and Christmas presents from him. I can attest to this fact as I was the one who always went shopping with her. Dad must have learned sometime early in their marriage that it was easier for her to buy what she wanted. Smart man.
Dad surprised mom on their anniversary one year. He bought her a gold clock covered in a glass dome. It offers three optional melodies at the top of the hour, but mom, being a structured sort of person, kept the same melody on the clock since she got it.
The clock was kept in the center of the buffet in the dining room just outside their bedroom. There are four balls connected to a center post under the face of the clock that spin right and left for a mesmerizing visual effect. Some years ago, the clock stopped playing the melody at the top of the hour. Somehow it slipped and chimes eight minutes after the hour.
On the early morning when mom passed away, we all looked at our watches and cell phones to note the time of her last breath; 12:36AM. Since she was under Hospice care, we called the Hospice nurse who either lived minutes away, or was visiting a family nearby, because she was in our presence rather quickly.
We watched as she placed her stethoscope in each ear and upon placing the sound piece on mom’s chest, she pronouced her death at 1:08AM just as the clock was sounding the melody mom picked out. I was in the doorway of her bedroom nearest to the clock and mumbled under my breath that she really passed away at 12:36.
I inheirited the clock. The melody mom picked out sounds eight minutes after the hour. Not knowing how old the clock is, I believe its parts are fragile as I cannot get the four balls connected to the center post under the face of the clock to spin in their mesmerizing motion.
In time, we will all lose functionality.
In God’s time, we will be reunited with Him and those we loved on earth.
11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
“Get up early and get there first, you’ll have the whole day ahead of you” echoes my dad’s voice of wisdom in my head.
Jumping out of bed this morning, I prepped two rooms in my house to keep my three cats out of the way of the guy doing some work in our basement. I proceeded to drive my car to the repair shop and got there before the “Open” sign was turned on in the window. I left it there to have them look at my brakes and rotate my tires. Living close enough to the repair shop, I took advantage of the beautiful sunny morning of my day off from work, and walked home. It felt good not to be one of the cars zooming by heading to work today.
I stopped into the coffee shop in my neighborhood and found out they do not carry dairy-free French Vanilla flavored creamer, so I made a stop to the corner grocer and picked out some decaf coffee beans, ground them, and grabbed a container of my dairy-free creamer. I brewed my own pot of coffee and sipped it while sharing my scrambled eggs with my cat, Mojo.
As I was walking around my house, tinkering around actually, I noticed a sqeak in my shoe. I paused and made that same step in my shoe and heard that squeak. I smiled as memories flooded my mind.
My dad never wore jeans; he said he didn’t like the feel of them. So he always wore black polyester pants, belted. When he worked around the house, tinkering around the house actually, he would wear the black pants that had paint drips on them along with a white T-shirt with slightly yellowed armpits despite my mom’s attempts to whiten them with her secret laundry powers. He also wore these beat up, old black slippers.
When I was very young, I thought the kitchen floor itself was squeaky because it sqeaked when dad walked through. The floor didn’t squeak when I walked the same path and I concluded it was because I was very thin and didn’t carry enough weight.
I remember when I was a few years older, I needed to get something from outside and I couldn’t find my shoes, but dad’s beat up, old black slippers were there at the ready. I slipped in them and headed out the door. Then I heard the familiar kitchen floor squeak, but I was out in the driveway. I would step a certain way and the slipper would squeak. I made a little song of it with my feet. It was fun.
So this morning, I heeded my dad’s advice and got a lot accomplished before 8:00am. And I squeaked my shoe in the kitchen and of course made a little song out of it. It was fun.
Happy early Father’s Day, dad. I love you and miss you dearly.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”