THE CUCKOO CLOCK
My mom loved that clock. It was small, but it was a genuine Black Forest German Cuckoo Clock. My mother wound the clock every day by pulling the weights on a chain up each morning. One weight kept the pendulum going; one weight was for the Cuckoo bird. The bird came out once on the half hour, and then Cuckooed the time on the hour. Well the bird didn’t actually come out, but the door opened and he would bow and cuckoo.
Forty years ago, I gave my Mom and Dad a Cuckoo Clock for Christmas. It was not an expensive clock, maybe thirty dollars, but it might have been the best present I ever gave them.
A generation of grand-children grew up with that clock. Toddlers would run to the family room where it hung and wait for the door to open and the bird to cuckoo. When a child was sad or cranky, the cuckoo clock would cheer him up.
When my mother was losing her memory to Alzheimer’s she still remembered to wind the clock. I think routine is the last thing the disease steals from its victim. Years ago, the clock followed mom to an assisted living home and finally to an Alzheimer’s ward of a nursing home. Whenever I visited my mom which was not often enough, I seldom went to her room. I completely forgot about the clock.
My mother passed away last year. My brother gave me the clock which I had all but forgotten about. It now hangs in our dining room. A new generation of grand-children will run to hear the clock. A new generation will be soothed or cheered by a funny little bird and a silly cuckoo sound.
I wind the clock every night. It is my new routine. I never pull up those weights without thinking of my mom. It is amazing how a silly thirty dollar clock could bring so much joy to an old lady, a score of grand-children and now brings back pleasant memories everyday to an old man; memories of my mom and memories of smiling happy children.
That silly little bird brings memories every day, just like clockwork.