Tuesday, October 06, 2009

On my watch

During the last five or six months of my Mom's life, she wore this white watch with a rubber band that I unsuccessfully tried to convince her to not wear. It was ringed with plastic diamond things. The watch band had some sort of basket pattern, with silver retro numbers. It was hideous but she was very attached to it. I rescued it from her bag the week of her funeral and wore it to New York. It was one of those moments of unadulterated grief when finding one of her quirky, idosyncratic possessions and putting it on brought such relief for the feelings caused by her absence that I didn't care how it looked. As grief abated, I realized that I wasn't going to start wearing her watch, it would be too hard to explain to anyone else.

What happened after made me miss her in a different way. Jane went to a meeting at a large hospital where a wealthy supporter of a research initiative was present. In the meeting, Jane was speaking to the woman and looked down at her wrist and realized that this society lady was wearing the high-end version of the watch that my Mom's had been imitating. Instead of fake plastic diamonds, it had real ones.

My mom would have thought it was hilarious that there was a fancy version of it. The absurdity of the watch to begin with, the fact that there is a high priced iteration of her ten dollar drug store one, and the fact that Jane encountered an east side society lady wearing it would have elicited some wry and self-effacing comment about her brush with the well-to-do. I miss talking about things like this with her more than anything else.