We live by the clock. We’re ahead of the game, behind the times, in the moment, catching up or slowing down. So many things about a day in my life are autosaved. I am able to look back and see what time I went for a run. My Garmin records where I was and how fast or slow I was moving through time. The new recipe I tried that day shows the time I printed it. I can re-read our text conversation minute by minute. My phone shows the time of his last call to me, how long we talked as well as how many times I tried to reach him afterwards. Then there are the calls I placed for help. His phone holds my voice begging for him to call me as well as many others who attempted to reach him. His computer history revealed how long he had been researching ways to go. My personal history of the accounts of November 7, 2012 recorded in technology. Many of which began as an unremarkable day like any other.
Some time ago I read an article that has stuck with me. It was about a diabetic’s pancreas transplant. He wrote of the diabetic math: how many years does the horse have left in front of the cart. I am a mathematician too. Not only have I calculated the hours to days to weeks to months to years, but also the calculations of the milestones and achievements missed; the holidays and vacations accomplished solo, the parenting struggles that bring me to my knees and keep me in constant prayer.
Nine months (see time) after he died, I enrolled in college for another degree. This time in the medical field. I attended an anatomy and physiology class with students the same age as my daughter. The lesson in particular was rigor mortis. There I sat in class with my math. While everyone around me absorbed what our professor was saying, I was calculating the time that he died and what was happening in his body by the time I got to him and then again by the time other family members made it to town, and finally the chemistry that was happening upon cremation.
It bothers me that I can rattle off what time each of my babies were born. It’s recorded on their birth certificates, but his death certificate simply says LATE PM. A person’s exit from this world holds just as much significance as their arrival. My life is forever marked in time by BC (Before Corey died) and AD (After his Death).
Today is the 7th. That makes 44 months.