Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My infinite clock

Yesterday my alarm clock failed me.  Every week day I set it for 5 a.m. and like an old friend it never fails me.  I get up, reset it for Don and go to the gym.  This particular morning I woke up on my own at 5:40 to a flashing clock. But it wasn't flashing 12:00 it was flashing 3:14.
I reset it for Don and was on my way.  When I returned at 6:45 the house was dark.  Again, the clock was flashing 3:14. Why the clock is flashing the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form is beyond me.  It did remind me of why I work out in the morning, especially after the holidays.
I was very upset about this.  I unplugged it and plugged it in. Still 3:14.  He said we really didn't need it anymore because we have our iphones and we can use them from now on. He was not going to fix it this time.  He had glued and taped it over the years, and this was his deceleration to get rid of it.

I have had this alarm clock from April 7, 1992. My grandmother gave it to me for my 15th birthday when she  learned that my mom was still waking me up for school.  She said it was time I got myself up.   Through the years it has traveled with me to 3 states, and so many apartments I can't keep them straight.  It has old stickers on the side of it.  It has absolutely no decorative integrity whatsoever.
But it has been a staple in many different decors on my nightstand.  Thank goodness it can't talk.
Still, it has woken me up for some of the most important days of my life.
The day I got my drivers license. My high school graduation, my college graduation, my wedding day, my first job interview, three scheduled c-sections, numerous flights, and it has never failed.

It sounds crazy to be attached to an object, but I can't help but be.  I looked online to see if I could get it fixed.  There is no trace of it ever even existing. And to think that it was pretty revolutionary back then because it had nature sounds (which I never figured out how to use).  In fact, to this day Don has never figured out how to use it, I personally think it his attempt to avoid getting up.

If a clock can have significance, this one to me, was the beginning of my independence.  Whether or not my grandma thought of it that way, I'm not certain. She may have been annoyed with my mom's attempt at keeping me a child, or my resistance to acting like an adult. Whatever her reasoning, it worked.

My grandma died from a very aggressive form of cancer in 1997. Of all the important things my clock woke me up for, she was only able to witness one.  She never knew I graduated from college (at the time, my behavior would not have predicted any collegiate pursuits).  She never knew of Don and I know she would have loved him.  Although the last words I ever said to her were "so many men, so little time". She laughed out loud, little did I know how little time there really was.

All of this occurred to me as I was about to unplug my clock for the last time.  Sometimes you forget how much you miss someone until out of nowhere you want to call them and you can't. Today is one of those days.

As much as I don't want to admit, its a testament that I'm old enough where appliances I have stop functioning because they are old, not because they are broken. I kind of understand why my dad still has his ugly transistor radio with a dial.  You never know when you may want to listen to the radio and a plug isn't readily available...

It has given me no choice but to forge ahead.  I used my phone's alarm this morning and kept waking up for fear it may fail me.  I don't trust a fully charged cell phone, yet for the past 20 years I put all my trust in an electronic that couldn't function if the power went out.

I don't like to hold on to things that don't work, even if it has some memories attached.  I will throw it away and move on with the times ( pun intended).  Anyone who knows me, knows I am a bit superstitious. So I started thinking about the number that flashed 3:14.  It may mean different things to different people, but to me it represents an infinite number.

My grandmas gift was more than just a clock, it woke me up for the best days of my life, and I like to think that was her little nudge each morning. Thanks to her, I am an early riser, I will admit some days were dark or sad and some I would like to have forgotten completely, but regardless of the outcome, each day is worth waking up for.

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