December 2009


I thought about several different titles for this piece, such as “watching time,” “keeping time,” “marking time,” and “moving through time. None of those captured my feeling. I’m not an outsider watching the time. Nor am I simply marking time or keeping track of the minutes and hours. I am, indeed, moving through time – yet that implied I’m just acting and reacting.

I’m alive. I breathe, eat, sleep, move, write, speak, and feel a wide spectrum of emotions. There are moments of sadness; humorous moments, frustrating seconds…all within the same day. I am living within the time I have each day. And I’m trying to live it well.

An item that tracks the time within which I live is a watch. And to track special times, I have a new timepiece. My husband gave me a gold watch, posthumously. The watch arrived after he passed away. Herschel wanted me to have nice jewelry and enjoyed giving me pretty pieces. I look at this shiny, new timepiece and feel his warm feelings for me.

The shimmering gold reminds me of the sun, which reminds me of the summer days when we met. Those were idyllic days. We were truly living together in time.

Now I am living alone, in time, and have his gift to help me continue.

There are some upcoming networking and business events in a new venue. To clarify the details, I’ve exchanged emails recently with one of the women in charge of these events. The name sounded familiar, yet I couldn’t place it. Suddenly, my brain clicked in connecting this woman’s name and the original organization. I thought we had been in touch six years ago about a social network group – of the face-to-face variety. I broke out of the “business mold” and asked her if she is the same person who had chaired that group. Yes!

Our lives had moved in different directions in the intervening years. Since the first contact was pre-LinkedIn and pre-Facebook, we had lost touch. Yet here we are, networking again, albeit through a different type of organization. And both of us even have a presence on WordPress!

Small world.

All I did was pack away Herschel’s black hats into their hat box. Then I decided to toss some old small boxes that were in the front hall closet. Just cleaning up. I didn’t expect to fall apart and cry as a result of these actions. Nor did I expect to get teary-eyed while attending a lecture today.

My natural inclination is to ask, “Why?” Then again, why ask “why”? Why analyze? The passing is still so fresh.

This situation is a conundrum – I’m learning to expect the unpredictable reactions. Occasionally, I’ll be caught by surprise. My responses are rather refreshing: I’m allowing open, honest feelings to show through.

♦ ♦ ♦

I spontaneously registered for two networking events in January. Now that action really caught me by surprise! A bit of my old self  is willing to shine.

Attempting to see the road while driving in the snow storm today was an exercise in clarity. The wind blew the snow all around the cars. The streets were not well plowed. Ice formed on the windshield, rendering the wipers somewhat useless. Yet, slowly, the defrost mechanism took over and melted the ice. The wipers did their job. And I arrived at a long section of clear roadway.

Even in the midst of a storm – an upheaval – there are moments of clarity. Slowly, income and expense numbers are understandable. It’s clear who the correct creditors are and when payments are due. Gradually, the important items rise to the top of the list. Little by little, a routine takes shape.

I sorted through another two bags today, and realized that sorting is a way to connect with Herschel. I found letters, post cards, and greeting cards (homemade and store-bought). Through the correspondences, I learned about the personalities of the people who were part of Herschel’s life before I knew him. Here’s what I discovered today:

  • Sam (Herschel’s dad) was a romantic; he wrote loving notes to his wife on greeting cards. Truly a sentimentalist.
  • Aunt Lil (Sam’s sister) enjoyed living in Los Angeles, CA, from where she wrote her humorous letters.
  • Herbie (Sam’s brother) didn’t write; Lil included him in her correspondences.
  • And Sarah, Sam’s wife (aka Herschel’s mom) was her husband’s equal as a romantic. I cried over the longing she expressed in her letters to her husband while he was overseas in WWII.

Of course, I continue to discover more family mementos: invitations to family events (in perfect condition); the equivalent of now-defunct green stamps, and report cards!

I uncovered some of the roots of my husband’s sentimentality. He had great teachers.

Typically, I’m a morning person. My energy is higher in the morning than in the evening. I enjoy the sunrise and watching the squirrels and birds carrying out their morning chores.

Recently, I’ve become a night person – bedtime is well after midnight. I discussed this phenomenon with S. She suggested that I not analyze it and consider the change temporary. Rather, follow her mother’s advice that these hours are “the uninterrupted quiet of the night, when you can put your worry to work!”

I liked that advice. I’ve put my worry to work by writing, reading relaxing material, or listening to gentle music.

The uninterrupted quiet of the night is soothing.

Mingling with others. Meeting a friend for coffee. Entertaining guests in my home. Preparing for a celebration.

It’s wonderful to step out into the world of people. It’s a pleasure to open my home to guests. There’s a sense of normalcy about all of this activity.

And I’m grateful for the strength to socialize.

Coffee, anyone?

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