I first met Time when I was about 27 years old. Danith was asleep with his back turned to me. Pluto was snoring in his bed on the floor beside me. The moon shone through the white sheer curtains in our guest bedroom, making the white beadboard on the one wall glow. At that moment, I would not have asked for anything different.
Similarly to the many nights before that one, I felt blessed. A warm home, a compassionate husband, a loyal dog. Afraid of another day ending, I did not close my eyes, and, instead, I began conversing with Time. I wanted to know her more intimately. As we talked, though, I started to panick. If Danith and I were lucky, we would get to celebrate our 50th anniversary one day. On that night, we were into our fifth year of marriage, which meant that we had already lived 1/10 of our life together as husband and wife. That meant we had only 9/10, or 45 more years, together. 45? The last five years had waltzed by so fast. 45 more years were not enough. I needed the years to slow down.
After Daffy passed away, our doctors cautioned us to wait three months before trying again. At home, I opened my planner and counted the gray-edged boxes going across and up and down the pages. I had to take into account my cycles, and worried that my monthly cycle might arrive later than normal, I began to breathe deeply to help calm myself — since stress could delay an oncoming cycle. I returned to the boxes. No matter how I tabulated them, it appeared that the earliest I could become pregnant (if I were fortunate enough) would be 19 weeks from then. 19 weeks. How could I wait 19 weeks to feel my baby again? I printed monthly calendars and taped them on the walls at home and at work, and I crossed off each day that ended. I rationalized with myself: 19 weeks was about four months, which was only 1/3 of a year. 1/3 of a year was not that long, was it? But each day felt heavy, as though lead were sitting on it and weighing it down. I needed the weeks to hurry up.
For the last two years, I have struggled with Time. I recognize that Time has not committed any offense against me. Time is that beautiful, intelligent, confident friend who is there and here. She lovingly takes the blows I throw at her, and then lifts them off her shoulder. She eagerly welcomes me when I am ready to see her again, whether that is in the blush of a new cherry blossom or in the golden ripeness of a maple leaf. She holds no grudges. She is fair. Most admiringly, she is dependable and reliable, never wavering in her commitment or her duty. I know this. Still, I struggle with her.