Time is a precarious thing.

It is measured in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, years. It gives us deadlines. It gives us notice. It helps explain how long something lasts, or how quickly something happens….when something should begin, and when something should end.

Time marks us, whether we want it to or not.

A year passes. We have a birthday. All of a sudden, our physical age changes.

A year passes. We have an anniversary. All of a sudden, our marital age changes.

A month passes. Our child reaches another milestone.

An hour passes. An appointment is here.

We live our lives according to a clock.

Time marks us.

Time marks us, whether we want it to or not.


Daddy left 9 months ago today.

I carried my children inside of me for 9 months, and it felt like an eternity.

Daddy not being here for 9 months feels like a blink.

In the past 9 months, time has stood still. Time has flown. Time has been a gift. Time has been a burden. Time has been inconsequential. Time has been monumental.

I suppose we measure loss in increments because we measure everything else in them, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense. At least, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

And yet, I do it anyway.

And because I do, I can’t escape the fact that today is the 22nd, today is a Thursday, and that before about 10:30 or so, this morning 9 months ago, my daddy was still here.

On this Earth. Walking. Talking. Driving to the post office. Going to his office.

Doing what he did.

Until, he didn’t.

But today, mid-morning, my world didn’t collapse the same way it did 9 months ago when the door to my courtroom opened.

Today, mid-morning came and went.

And still, at 11:00 pm, I sit here wishing I could explain how much I despise Time, and how much I wish I could turn back its hands to 9 months ago today, roughly 13 hours before now, and change it all. See it. Recognize it. Do something about it.

Save him.

Save me.

I sit here wishing that Time would speed up and take me with it, getting me past all of the hard stuff, picking me up, swirling me away, and not setting me back down until I can just not feel anymore…not feel this stuff, anyway.

I sit, wishing, that I didn’t even recognize that today was 9 months.

I sit, wishing, that Time was not measured in any manmade incriments, and that nothing felt had deadlines and timestamps.

I sit. I just sit.

I sit typing.

I sit wishing.

I sit knowing.

I sit hoping to not feel.

And yet, I feel.

And I hate it.

I hate feeling.

I hate feeling this.


Time is a precarious thing.

It is meant to measure. But when man put time into seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years, man didn’t allow for grief.

Ole Time….it just keeps ticking on.

Meaningless ticks.

Arbitrary ticks.

Ticks to measure.

Ticks to remind.

Ticks without purpose, without memory, without remorse, without reflection.

It just ticks. It ticks exactly the same.

Every second. Every minute. Every day. All day long. Until the next day.

And it does it all over again.


But I don’t.

I just don’t tick right without my daddy.

I’m off-kilter. My second and hour hands are bent.

I’m too slow or too fast. I’m too fast or too slow.

My ticks are not anywhere near even.

They are sporadic. They are in fast-forward. Sometimes, they just stop.

Mine. Mine do that.

But Time? Time just keeps on moving smoothly, expectently, reliably.

And Time has no awareness of what it does to one who grieves.

Because if it did, surely, it would see it. Recognize it. Do something about it. Save him. Save me.

It would at least stop every once in a while.

It would stop in reverence.

It would stop in mercy.


And yet, it doesn’t.


Instead, its’ cold, stark rigid, perfectly straight hand simply ticks.

Ticks. Ticks. Ticks.

And I watch it.

And I feel it.

I feel it tick on a broken clock.


And I wonder if I will ever tick right again.


One thought on “Time

  1. Time, indeed, forges on when we most wish it to stop. Take a breath. Rest. It has been this way for me since Labor Day 1959 when the police and Wardell Thomas woke us to say that my daddy was dead. I was 11, entering the sixth grade. My world ceased to be. I know what you are feeling, Marsha. The pain will wane and then come crushing down like a dark wave, swallowing all in its path.
    Time moves even when we wish it to stop. Take a breath. Rest. Therefore, we move,too.


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