My mother’s watch

By N.A. Booko

Pittsboro, NC – My Mother died 1944. Seems like an eternity. In come cases, seventy years is an eternity. Immediately after she died, my father sold most of her personal belongings; especially her clothing. It was World War 2 and we didn’t have much anyway. I often wonder if he considered that keeping those things would have meant the world to the children.

I know that mother was buried wearing her watch and wedding ring. I remember that well. We moved from that house almost immediately to a mill house with my father’s mother and his unmarried sisters.

Fast forward several decades. I had somehow managed to hold on to a small overnight suitcase that belonged to my mother. It was fabric lined, with little pockets and elastic band pouches for storage. I always just kept it; not used it. By chance, once I dropped it and heard a small ‘klunk’ within. I opened the case and to my surprise, there was an old fashioned lady’s wrist watch. Almost identical to the one my my mother wore. It had been hiding in one of the small compartments. The protective front crystal was missing and the watch didn’t run. All that didn’t matter. It was my mother’s watch. I intended to have it repaired. After all, when shook, it did do a single”tick.”

Time marches on and I never managed to get it repaired. I kept in in a box and knew at least where it was. I hadn’t looked at it in years until the other day. I lifted it out and gave it a gentle shake. It responded with three or four “ticks.”

Mother, I know you are still with me.