Time is relative

I’ve hung this clock in three different homes since 1999. This is the first time it’s been hung in a house I’ve owned. It was my Moms.

She passed away in 2011. A double heart attack. She was 51. My Mom collected weird stuff, but I was always drawn to this clock. Maybe it was the way it protrudes from the wall, or that it is double-sided and I can see the time no matter what part of the room I am in. Or that I’ve managed to hit my head on it a countless amount of times.

When I was younger, I admit that I didn’t really listen to my Mom as much as I should’ve. I did everything she wanted me to do, but sometimes she talked so much, that I tuned out. Subconsciously, I must’ve heard her, because when I hung it up, I remembered something she had told me.

It was January 1999. I had just graduated from high school the year before, and I went home, in the dead of winter. I don’t know why I visited Fairbanks, Alaska that time of the year when it was -25 degrees, but I did. She had just purchased it. My Mom, was very impatient. When she wanted something done, she wanted it then and there. My Dad was not home, but she wanted it up on the wall.

Admittedly, I wasn’t very handy at 19 years old. I could screw the plate on a remote control car, but the wall was a different animal. There was no Google, or YouTube to view tutorials. The Stone Ages indeed.

So, I went to what my Dad called, “the sacred chamber.” That was his name for his toolbox. He was quite handy. He had built a bunch of stuff in our basement. I had watched him, and assisted a little, but I had the attention span of a distracted puppy, so I didn’t pay attention as much as I should have.

I got a screwdriver, and a tape measure (I admit that this was because I wanted to put it on my hip, and look like a carpenter), and I went to work.

My Mom, was a talker. So as I said before, sometimes I tuned out. She told me where she wanted it hung and then proceeded to stand there like a construction foreman and tell my exactly the way she wanted it on the wall.

Then she went quiet.

I thought something was wrong. It was not uncommon for her to be in the hospital or have medical problems. Since 1987, that had been the case. In and out of hospitals. A coma. Tons of surgeries.

“Time is relative,” she finally said.

I remember the epic eye roll I did, and the thought of “okay Einstein” rolling through my head, of which I would never have said outloud. She may have been short, and sick, but she was old school and would’ve slapped 19 year old me through the wall, of which I would have had to fix. I was taught that you just didn’t talk back or disrespect your parents.

“You have one life. Do not waste your time on people that do not deserve it. Work hard. Go after what you want, because after all, time is relative. Time goes forward. It does not move backwards. What happened, happened. You can not change that. You can, move forward. Remember that, okay? Time is relative.”

By that time, I had finished hanging the clock. I learned later, from my Dad, that I should’ve used wall anchors.

I didn’t make that mistake the second time. Again, as I hung it, she told the same story. Sometimes she forgot she had already told me something. She would call me, tell me something, and then the next day tell me the same thing.

A few weeks after she died, I removed the clock from the wall, and put it into a box. That was 6 years ago. I recently hung it on my wall, and after I finished, I stared at it for a few minutes, and thought about this.

Time truly is relative.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Marcus A. Stricklin’s story.