If I could turn back time…or place…
Do you ever wonder what would happen if you could turn back time? I indulge in such fantasies now and then, particularly when my life does not seem to be going the way I would like it to go. But if I had the ability to rewind my life, how far back would I want to go? It’s a rabbit hole I could fall into and never come back from if I let myself dwell on it.
Maybe I would go back to when I was about five years old, before Becky Ezell drowned and my little life had not been touched by death yet. Even at that young age I understood that the lifeless form in the casket only resembled Becky, but it was not really her, not anymore. It was just the package she had lived in before she died. She was about 12 years old when she drowned, but I have never forgotten that she was sweet to me. It’s a big deal when an older kid is nice to you.
Or perhaps I would return to the first time I ever sang a solo in front of people. I was in the Herald Children’s Choir at my church and Becky Kidd, our leader/teacher (and phenomenal church organist) had me sing a solo in a little musical we put together and practiced diligently to offer to our church family. I think I was nine or ten years old. So many times in so many places I have offered up songs since then, a gift for which I give thanks.
I think about the many turning points along the way, sometimes wondering, “What if I had chosen differently?” Just one step in a different direction alters the entire trajectory of a life. Would I go back to a decade…a year…a moment…for a do-over?
The whole last two years of Mama’s life…I’d definitely do those differently. I screwed some stuff up there. Probably the first two years after she died, too. Worrying about other people’s grief kept me from properly processing my own. It cost me in ways I am probably still paying for.
Or would I just go back to the first of this year, when my dog was still alive and I had plans that I felt would fix a lot of things for the people I love? Wondering about it serves no purpose, I realize. But sometimes it is difficult not to. There is an old adage that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Perhaps these tangents are my way of trying to learn from history, and trying to look forward.