Dec 31, 2005

Time After Time

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. I spent almost an entire week at my mother's house (Internet-free) and then another few days doing some "winter cleaning" around my apartment. Isn't it funny how after every Christmas you get a whole bunch of great stuff from friends and family, and then you cart it home and wonder where in the hell you're going to put it? So... after a bunch of donations to Goodwill, I have a more organized apartment with a little bit more space.

While I usually enjoy this annual organization ritual of mine, I had a hard time with it this year, most likely because I had to sort through a bunch of my dad's items. For those of you just tuning into The Days of The BLS's Life, my father (who had this way of making me want to pound my head against the wall and give him a hug at the same time) passed away in August. My dad and I were about as close as a father and daughter could be, and I'm having a hard time with the realization that he's really gone. As I discussed in one of my earlier posts, my brother, sister, and I were given the daunting task of dividing my father's things after he passed away. As I've also previously discussed, my older sister turned into this incredible gold-digging bitch who stole four guns that rightfully belonged to my brother and I, along with expensive tools and $1100 that was in my father's wallet. In addition, she tried to steal my father's vehicles, but the lawyer took the side of my brother and I and the car was granted to me. (silver 2004 Ford Focus with less than 28,000 miles-- hell yeah! There's also the fact that it smells like cigar smoke and is fully stocked with Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, and Merle Haggard CD's-- totally my father, which is the reason that I wanted it.)

But I digress. Anyway, Bitchy Sister made a big deal about wanting my father's wristwatch. Being grief-stricken and wanting to spread around things that reminded all of us of our father, Brother and I let her have Dad's watch. In retrospect, I realize that the only reason that she probably wanted Dad's watch was because it's a vintage watch and probably worth about $500, not because it was one of my father's prized possessions. As I realized this, I got really upset because it's important to me to have things that captured the essence of my father. The watch represented one of them, at least to me.

Time was a really important thing to my father. He insisted upon being punctual, if not 15 minutes early to wherever he went. He was also really picky about his watches. He detested the digital style of watches that were available today. In addition, he had a sever disliking of watches that didn't require winding. He always thought that those watches didn't keep time as well as the old-fashioned ones. As a result, he packed around these old-school watches that needed to be taken to an antique dealer in order to be fixed on the rare occasions that they stopped working. Thinking about it brings a smile to my face. So understandably, I was bummed when I realized that Bitchy Sister had this part of my father and was most likely going to sell that part of my father to an antiques dealer or pawn shop for some cash.

You may ask what this tirade has to do with my recent "winter cleaning." I'm getting there. So... as I said, I was cleaning out some of my dad's stuff that I had taken from storage. This included a bunch of boxes of miscellaneous items of my fathers that I didn't really get a chance to look at. Anyway, he had this amazing collection of chocolate bar tins that Hershey comes out with every year. A box I grabbed had a bunch of these things in them. It was only when I started opening these tins that I came across something that brought tears to my eyes. No, it wasn't one of my father's watches.

It was my very first watch that my dad had bought for me. A small Mickey Mouse watch with a tiny tattered yellow Velcro strap. Looking at it, I remember wearing it when I was very little. But having the attention span of a normal 4 or 5 year old, I abandoned wearing the watch with the same excitement that I had when my father initially brought it home for me. He had kept this watch in the exact condition I left it. Time had taken its toll on the watch, as Mickey's hands no longer moved and the paint on Mickey's hands had started to crack with age, but there was obviously something about the watch that made my father keep it for all those years.

I quickly realized that it was his love for me that made him keep the watch. He liked having reminders of me even when I wasn't around. This was made more apparent as I sorted through some more of these tins. I found postcards that I had sent my father while traveling in high school and college, along with various birthday cards and other things that I gave my dad throughout my childhood and early adulthood. And then I realized that even though I didn't have my father's watch to remind me of him, I had something better. I had a reminder of how much he loved me. Obviously, this watch was a manifestation of that.

I took the watch into Wal-Mart to see if I could get the battery replaced and a new wristband. While there, the woman behind the counter remarked that she could tell it was an older watch and was impressed with the condition that it had been kept in. She warned me that despite the pristine condition of the watch, there was a chance that it still might not work. But it did. She warned me that she may not be able to find a wristband to fit the particular model of the watch. But I found one (I might add it was the last of its size in the store.) It was as if this was all meant to happen.

The watch has quickly become part of my daily ensemble, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. I don't care that it's a Mickey Mouse watch and that I'm probably the only law student at my school to wear one. I don't care that when I'm practicing law, I'll still probably wear this watch. I don't care that it's a cheap watch. To me, it represents my father's love for me, and you can't put a price tag on that, nor would I trade it to an antiques dealer or pawn shop for anything in the world.


At January 02, 2006 12:48 PM, Blogger fishlamp said...

Good to see your post.

Happy New Year!

At January 02, 2006 8:12 PM, Blogger AA said...

HEY!!! I have a similar Mickey Watch from my Grandmother!!! I don't know if your watch does this, but when you hit one of the knobs, it plays the Mickey Mouse song while Mickey's hands move along to the beat, then it goes back to the time it was at! Is that your watch also? Mine doesn't keep time anymore, but it still plays the song. It's good to hear from you!

Don't be afraid to wear the watch. One of the attorneys that I see everyday (that kicks ass everyday too) brings this Pink pen to Court that has a little feather coming out the top. It was a gift from his daughter.

In fact, I have a little glass flask that has a magnet, a frog, and a coca leaf in it. They represent three traditional objects that bring you luck, happiness, and wealth. I take it into every single exam, and I have it in my pocket almost all of the time. Happy New Years!

At January 09, 2006 2:46 PM, Anonymous Shau Lin said...

Screw watch! You get new on Ebay 5 dollah! Unress you rike Christopher Warken in Purp Fiction carry watch in ass for years. You can do same like .. Cannot say L or hit L key, ha! Chinese!You make fun my stereotype? LLL..RRRRRR!

You hit bigtime rawyer, you buy Rorex, Screw cheap Mickey Mouse. You buy Beemer, no Ford! You buy bodyguard, no gun! You rive it up on back of taxpayer, rawyer srime.


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