Giving Time

“The greatest gift you can give someone is your time.  Because when you give your time, you are giving a portion of your life that you will never get back.” – Unknown

I always remember my dad wearing his diving watch. He never took it off. As a child, I remember studying the watch because I was fascinated by the hands. I used to watch the second hand glide around and around. I also loved to twist the bezel around the face of the watch.

After my dad passed away, I found his dive watch sitting on a table in his condo. The watch was in really bad shape. It had stopped working a long time ago, but my dad always kept it close to him. I packed it away with his other things and took it home. Once I was home, I put the watch in a drawer with few other valuables that belonged to my dad. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it.

Shortly after that, while on a business trip in Dallas, my husband took the watch to Rolex to see if they could repair it. Unfortunately, because the watch was so old, they didn’t have the parts for it.  They directed him to a website that listed businesses that worked on old watches.  I would have had to send the watch away and that was not something I felt comfortable doing.  So the watch went back in the drawer.  That Christmas, I got my husband a watch.  We took it to a local clock shop to have some links removed and while we were there, I asked the owner if he had any experience working on old watches. I was pleased to find out that he did. But I was’t ready to do anything with it yet.  So I left the watch in the drawer, bringing it out occasionally so I could look at it. And the old velcro wristband, which had been a replacement, still smelled like my dad.

After leaving the watch in the drawer for over a year, I finally decided to take it back to the local shop to see what could be done with it. The owner said he felt confident that he could get it working again, but that it could take him a while to find parts. I was in no rush, so I left it with him. Over the six weeks that he had the watch, I went back through my dad’s pictures and noticed that in almost all the pictures where his right wrist was showing, he was wearing the watch. The earliest one dates back to February 1966. That means that the watch is at least 50 years old!  I recently picked the watch up from the local clock shop and when I saw it working, that second hand gliding around and around, I was hit with a wave of emotion.  “The greatest gift you can give someone is your time.”  My dad is gone, but in a way, I am left with his time.