…but for a fleeting moment.
We were home for Thanksgiving, visiting with Kate’s parents. Visits to Philadelphia are always pleasant, far too short and there is never enough time to see all those near and dear to me. I do try my hardest to visit Kate’s parents, however. These are people who stood for me when others were not willing to do the job themselves. Kate treated me like a sister. Her parents treated me like a daughter.
Towards the end of the visit, Kate’s father took me aside and gave me a watch that had belonged to Kate. He was slightly confused by the watch as it was a strong representation of how Kate compartmentalized her life and kept many secrets. While her parents knew of Kate’s fondness for the finer things in life, they were not aware that Kate would procure said fancy things. This component of grief and frustration seems as if it will never sort itself out; no matter how much time passes. So many questions remain unanswered.
Immediately, I put the watch on. Of course, having sat idle for nearly four years, it no longer functions. It will definitely need a battery. I’m thinking a complete service is necessary, as well. Just my luck – there are neither authorized service centers nor retailers in our state. I kept the non-functional watch on my wrist so I wouldn’t lose it while we were skittering hither and yon in Philly.
We have been home for over a week. The thank you note is overdue (will I ever get my shit together, I wonder?). The watch is still on my wrist. It still doesn’t work. And it occurred to me: why should I fix it? Is it not more…erm…sentimentally poetic that I’m wearing a watch that belonged to my deceased best friend and the watch no longer functions? On December 19, 2010 time, in a sense, stopped for many of us that day. We find ourselves moving forward, doing the things we do, living life as we should because Kate would not want people moping about and, let’s face it, this is part of life. That said, is there something inherently unhealthy or wrong about wearing the watch that no longer keeps time? The watch that froze time, perhaps? The watch that could potentially bring me back to the time when Kate was here and I was still a whole person?
This morning, Milkface asked if I was going to “fix Aunt Kate’s fancy watch?” I had no answers. I’m in no hurry. After all, in this particular instance, time has stopped. Time is irrelevant.