By JULIE SMITH | Published: January 5, 2010

A gray morning peeped through the transparent curtains. “This is KLO, your oldies but goodies place to be.” Love radio alarms; time to get up I said as I looked at the clock. I went through my morning routine of getting kids out of bed, fed, lunched-up and out the door towards the bus. Five minutes later over a cup of much needed coffee I heard familiar voices. The door opened and two exasperated children moaned, “Mom, it’s too early to go to school!” and dumped themselves on the sofa. I ran my hands through wild hair.

I looked at my watch and raced to the microwave…06:30. Whoa, what’s happening here? Checking the rest of the time-honored appliances revealed they were all the same. Six thirty. The clock in the bedroom glared – 07:30. TV was turned on and the kids grudgingly watched while grumbling and rubbing their eyes. Had I, in a deep sleep, turned the clock forward?

The next night I checked and double-checked the time. The next morning, the bedroom clock was an hour early again with KLO as its rooster. Wrist watch: 06:00. I couldn’t go back to sleep.

The next night that cometh so slowly after an even slower day brought forth a solution. I would catch it in the act of jumping the gun. I consumed enough coffee to pull an ‘all-nighter’ and was successful until the wee hours of the morning. I committed the ultimate error of my campaign…I dozed off. I was awaked by a tinkling sound like crystal wind chimes dancing in a slight breeze. I opened my eyes and the chimes stopped. Had I been dreaming? Time: 02:00. Watch-which-glows-in-the-dark, 01:00. I procrastinated action because of sleepiness; it could wait until morning when a thorough investigation could be launched. Besides, what could I investigate? I reset the clock to the correct time and slept deeply without dreams.

“KLO brings a Steve Miller favourite, ‘Time Keeps on Slipping’.” This is Twilight Zone material. Clock beamed 07:00; watch 06:00. Is there a message here for me? Am I not ‘doing’ enough with my life? Had I become a house frau, pickling my grey cells in the mundane acts of unappreciated love? Would it be too late one day?

I lied in bed turning over every possible explanation for my time problem.

After getting the kids off to the bus, I was determined to get rid of the clock. I plunked it in the trash and drove to Walmart where I purchased a new one made in another Asian country, carefully read the directions like a third grader, making sure everything was done properly. I set the time to my watch a tuned into KLO as my awakening angle. Done.

The song which woke me stayed with me all day. Like an endless loop it reminded me of where I was in life and that was…?. What did I want and how was I going to get there at the age of 35? My Masters in Economics was useless, archaic and boring. We had enough money to live from Richard’s life insurance so finances weren’t a problem. But the churning in my gut was.

That evening after a hot bath I slipped into bed. Check - alarm set at right time and KLO was going to wake me up at 07:00.

Somewhere in my deep sleep I heard chimes again and woke up, removing the sleep from my eyes. I turned on the bedside lamp. The chime sounds were coming from the radio! It was 03:18. Watch – 02:18. OH, NOOOO!

The rest of the early morning I waited for the clock to reach 07:00. When it came close I was perspiring, hands clammy and mouth completely devoid of any moisture. As the clock digitally turned to 07:00, KLO wafted “Time is on My Side” by the Rolling Stones. The clock was taunting me. “You’ll come running back to me, me, meeeeeee”.

Being Saturday, I called my sister and dropped the kids off. I told her I wasn’t feeling well (biggest understatement of my life) and needed to go to the doctor. I saw a Dr Anderson in emergency and we sat down. I was shaking calmly which is a bit of a paradox. He asked me some personal questions about Richard’s death, my non-chosen celibacy, children’s social behaviour at school and a few other unrelated subjects.

“Before we go into any psychological testing, I’d like you to do one more thing. These incidences occurred recently without any history. You seem to be suffering from some kind of post-traumatic stress. Unplug the radio, put it in the garage and put in ‘wake-up’ call from your phone. I’ll prescribe a mild sedative which you should take 20 minutes before bed.” He isn’t going to call the men with the white coats. We both smiled at each other and I felt better but underneath, deathly afraid to go into the battleground of the bedroom.

Putting on a good act, the three of us went out for pizza that night. Everything was normal. Bed was a bit later than usual because we watched for the 15th time a DVD about a fish named Nemo. After the kids went to bed, I finally pulled together enough courage to take the clock out to the garage and call the ‘wake-up’ service. Seven o’clock – on a Sunday morning.

I slept well without the clock in the room. At 07:00 the phone rang. I picked it up and heard music on the other end. It was a familiar melody at first and then it hit me.

It was Richard’s and my song to each other – “I’ll Be Right Here Waiting For You”. I moaned deeply and started to cry, tears which came from so deep and for so long un-shed.

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