Friday, March 12, 2010
THE CLOCK OF LIFE
Clock of Life, London, England
"The clock of life is wound but once
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
Now is the only time you own.
Live, love, toil with a will.
One of my earliest childhood memories occurred on an early evening in Kansas when my great grandmother died. I didn’t know her very well as she was bed ridden by the time I came to know her. My grandmother who lived next door had transitioned into her primary care giver at their home during the final years of her life. I remember family members arriving and becoming uncharacteristically solemn as they slowly gathered around the fireplace at our home. At first I wasn't aware of why they were there, but then it became apparent what had happened as they began discussing her long life and their memories of the special times they had shared in her life’s journey.
The moment that made the most vivid impression on me that evening was the gasp that my mother suddenly uttered while everyone was still reverently celebrating this woman’s life in our dining room. She was pointing to the old black clock on the mantle which no one generally paid much attention to during our daily routine. But on this night, the hands were frozen in time at the precise hour and minute that my great grandmother’s spirit had passed on from this life and into the sanctuary of our ultimate home, as if in tribute to and respect for her long and most recently painful life.