In April, I wrote a Mythical Monday post called the Ghosts of Time, in which I included a long-standing legend in my family. If you didn’t read that post it involved a grandfather’s clock which belonged to my father.
While my dad was living, he always said that when he died as a way to communicate, he would stop the clock if it was running and start it if it was stopped. And yes, it did stop the first time the family was gathered together several months after his death. See my Ghosts of Time post for the whole story.
Because of my father’s promise, clocks have a profound place in my family.
There is another occurrence that took place sometime after his death. My mother and I went to the theater to see The Omen. Why, I have no clue. I certainly couldn’t/wouldn’t sit through it today *shudder*
Anyway, after my father died, my mother gave me the watch he was wearing when he passed away. As a way to keep him close to me, I wore it a lot in those days. My mom and I were headed into the theater when she asked me what time it was. I think we were running late and were worried we would miss the opening of the movie. I honestly don’t remember the exact time, but we usually went to a “twilight” feature, so I’ll say it was
When we came out of the theater and were headed for the car, chatting about the movie, my mom again asked for the time. I remember glancing down, dismayed to realize the watch had stopped. At precisely the moment we originally entered the theater—5:30 PM.
That’s not really a huge deal. Parts fail, batteries expire, watches stop. I remember saying, “Oh. Dad’s watch stopped.”
Now for the odd part…the the part that is a huge deal. As I was watching, the second hand started moving again and the watch began working. To this day, I’m not certain what that signifies other than my father had moved on to a heavenly existence and perhaps didn’t like the taint of the movie. It’s one of those vivid memories that stand out when I look back over my life.
Recently, something similar occurred.
Many years ago my husband and I purchased a cuckoo clock. It’s now over twenty years old and hasn’t worked in several years. I had it repaired once during that span, but when it stopped working for the second time, I didn’t bother. The repairs were too extensive. Despite that, I kept the clock on the wall in the kitchen, because I like the look of it.
I recently hosted a party for my family. I used to host one every May for my mother’s birthday. Last weekend was the first time I’ve had the entire family together at my house since my mother passed away. The last time was to celebrate my mom’s birthday in May 2012.
As the last three party guests were leaving for the night, I glanced toward the kitchen and realized the cuckoo clock was ticking. The same cuckoo clock that hasn’t worked in years. I can’t begin to describe the feeling I had when I saw the pendulum swinging back and forth and heard the steady tick-tock, tick-tock.
The next day I checked with everyone who had been at the party and no one started the clock. I had been in and out of the kitchen multiple times during the party and the clock wasn’t working. And yet, when everything wound to a close, it was ticking along as though it had always worked.
We stopped it and it hasn’t started again. I don’t believe it ever will. Once was enough, a message from my mother to say she had been there with everyone in spirit.
At least I like to think so.