Again – Chapter 13 – JohnA Passaro
When a pilot cannot see the horizon
Because of low visibility,
He doesn’t assume
That the horizon has disappeared,
He flies on instruments
That can gauge the situation
More clearly than he can.
There was a time in my life when I knew what time it was, at any given moment.
Anyone at anytime could ask me the time of day and I would be able to tell them the time, give or take two minutes.
Without looking at a clock.
I never had a need for a watch or an alarm clock because I was just so tuned in to my internal clock.
As my life progressed, the people in my life started to pick up on this weird characteristic of mine.
At first they didn’t believe it, so they set out to test me.
They would wake me up in the middle of the night, from a deep sleep, and after wiping the sleep from my eyes I would say “3:18 am,” and I would go back to sleep.
I would be correct, within two minutes.
At the dinner table they would ask – 6:12 pm, I would answer.
Driving in the car – 2:22 pm.
Late at night – 11:48 pm.
I was infallible.
I don’t ever remember not being within 2 minutes of the exact time.
At first people thought it was some sort of trick.
I was just that tuned in.
My secret was having a reference point. I would remember back to the last time I knew the exact time and I would calibrate from there.
This idiosyncrasy of mine really meant something to me.
This idiosyncrasy of mine no longer exists.
Grief has taken this gift away from me.
Now, there are times that I feel lucky to know what season or what year it is.
I’m being serious.
I have often had to look outside to check the weather for a clue.
I have often sat in front of my computer not being able to log on, because I just couldn’t remember my password.
It is scary.
Grief is like flying in the fog.
There are times when I could be flying along, and out of nowhere, the fog appears.
During those times, I can’t see backward or forward or around me.
I have no reference point.
There are times when I walk around in this fog, hiding it from the world.
Very conscious of not giving off clues that at times, I can’t see past my own outstretched hand.
I have no control as to when the fog appears.
BettyJane has just arrived at the hospital to switch with me.
Before I head home, I go downstairs to the best hospital cafeteria I have ever been in.
Stony Brook University’s cafeteria is amazing.
I order a spinach, mushroom and turkey omelet, a cup of coffee, and I check out at the cashier.
I hand the cashier a ten-dollar bill, from which I get no change, and I ask her to point me in the direction of the utensils.
The cashier points to a counter top a few feet away which has a separate dispenser for forks, knives and spoons.
I get to the counter top and I stop in front of the spoon dispenser.
The fog appears.
I stand there… and I go blank.
I literally can’t figure out how to get a spoon out of the dispenser.
My mind is not working.
I am getting increasingly frustrated as the seconds go by.
After a few minutes, I am boiling inside, ready to burst.
Standing in front of the spoon dispenser my only thought is wanting to destroy this machine, but instead, I try to fight through the fog and look around for a reference point.
A lady who has been watching me from across the cafeteria approaches me; she hits a handle that say’s
“Push Down for A Spoon” and a spoon magically appears.
So does a caring smile from her.
She says to me, “This too shall pass.”
Which is the secret code that tells me she is a “Club Member” and understands.
I smile and say, “Thank you,” and I walk to a table to eat my breakfast.
And just like that, the fog clears.