By Dale A. Robbins
sits on my desk inconspicuously. The finish is a faded and well-worn silver.
It's second hand sweeps effortlessly around the oval face, ticking
faithfully for each second passed. This is my father's watch.
Dad has been gone now for more than a year, and each day since, I've thought
of him and reflected on our lifetime of memories, especially when I look at
his old cherished wristwatch. He was 94 when he passed away, and at the
close of his life he had few earthly possessions left of his own at the
nursing home... the last of which, was the timepiece he wore.
In the wee hours of that fateful morning, we could all tell that dad's
mortal struggle was coming to a close. In his weakened and semi-comatose
condition, the nurses worked feverishly to ease his pain and to sustain each
breath. They began to remove his watch, which he had always insisted
wearing, but as they did... he resisted weakly, and then relented... as
though he knew he was nearing the end and could now discard any further
concerns with time.
With our family and medical personnel gathered around his bed, the watch was
handed from one to another... almost as if no one wanted to take its
possession... and was finally placed in my hands. My siblings nodded to me
approvingly, and as his youngest surviving son I slipped it in my pocket,
with tears swelling from my eyes. It was though a mantle of great
importance, the last symbol of my dad's enduring life had been imparted to
Since that time, during and after his funeral... and each day since, I've
carried his watch with me or have placed it on my desk, as a constant
reminder of his life and the devotion he held for me and our family. And
perhaps a small but amazing observation to me, is how consistent it has been
to continue its purpose. Dad is gone... his life has ceased... but his watch
remains alive, still measuring each second of every day, bringing reality to
the notion that while time has ceased for one, it continues on for the rest
his timepiece does something more. As I ponder the constant ticking, I'm
reminded of many of my dad's consistent characteristics. He was a simple,
old fashioned man, definitely set in his ways, and a person of reliable
encouragement. Whenever I was with him, he could always be expected to say
whatever was on his mind, which usually also included some type of
encouraging words. Now it is as though the sounds from his watch, continue
to relay a cadence of his familiar encouragement... as if cheering me on to
keep living life to its fullest: "I'm proud of you son, keep on going, you
have purpose here, don't give up."
Someday when this life comes to a close for me, I hope the watch I pass on
to my kids will also symbolize something meaningful about my legacy.
Character, integrity, faith, perseverance... such honorable virtues every
father should leave as an example to his children, as I hope to leave for
mine. Likewise, when my time on earth is passed... and as my child reflects
on the wristwatch I wore and left behind ... I hope that they will be as
inspired as I have been by "my father's watch."
Copyright © Dale A. Robbins
- In loving memory of my father,
Myron F. Robbins
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