Never have I been more confused about my feeling of time than the past 3 years. Did that happen yesterday or last year? Did I say that today or last week? It’s as if the time chip in my brain is on the fritz. I keep searching for it, going round and round in my memory, as if, given enough time, I’ll get it back. As if one of these times I’ll suddenly remember what an hour feels like, or a day, or a week or a month.
I look at my calendar & check the month, the day, the year, and I realize I am 1.5 months away from the 3 year anniversary of my last chemo. But that can’t be, because it was only a few months ago. It is so clear, that exhaustion & pain in every cell of my body. The Christmas to follow; didn’t that happen just last year? The year we all gathered, for the first time in over 20 years, and I sat in the corner watching, imagining how it would be if I weren’t there. I watched moments tick by, moments I had no part in, moments that happened without me in them. How many moments have gone by without me, complete in themselves, not concerned with me, my absence or my presence. Moments that don’t need me.
A timeline of the past 3 years of my life on google docs and it is clear: it has been over 2 1/2 years since he asked for a divorce, moved on with his life, his new girlfriend, his new existence. Here I sit and I wonder: what has time done to me? Who I am 2.5 years later?
Time used to be clear. How much time till dinner, mom? 2 Rugrats episodes. So clear, memorable, easy.
Time is now measured in emails, court dates, postponements, pieces of paper, doctor’s appointments. A season of Gilmore Girls goes by till something happens. Today moves quickly, everything’s important; tomorrow’s postponed, put it aside.
Time slows to the ticking of the clock….tic, tic, tic…..for hours, or days, on someone else’s timetable. Till Boom – the alarm rings. Do it Now. Answer it Now. Stop & Focus. Go, Move, Do.
Three days is my measure of time. Three days it took for him to respond when I said to him “I have ovarian cancer”. Three days of coming, going, the gym, work, diverted eyes, bed after I’m asleep, up before I wake. Three days of smoothies, laundry, sunscreen and lunches. Three days, listening to the minutes tic by, wondering how. How could I just wait. How long would I wait. When would I stop waiting. Three days.
It is his clock I live by. His clock that rules my life. 25 years of his clock altering my perception, changing the cadence of real time. Is this the important hour? Is this the time his demands are real? Is this the moment he wants? Or is this a temporary stop, his buying of time, the postponement of the inevitable.
Time is money, time is paper, time is emails and demands, promises and lies, assurances and disappointments, time stands still and time runs rampant. All in due time, the time I pay for, with my heart, my soul, my thoughts, my body.
Tic, tic, tic. Time goes on around me, as I sit and wait. My time is not my own.