Over Christmas I was chatting with my parents and my Dad asked me a question that took me awhile to answer. What my Dad had asked me was this: If you could go anywhere in the world at any time, when would you go?
I thought for a little bit, visions of Imperial Rome, Pompeii, ancient Mesoamerica, medieval Italy sweeping through my mind. I couldn't decided on a place and a time and told my Dad so. He gave me a little grief for it :) but then I asked him the same question back. At this point my mom jumped in and mentioned something about this sounding like a Mitch Albom book (For One More Day) about a son who goes back in time to spend one day with his mom who died eight years earlier. We eventually strayed from this line of conversation but it really got me thinking.
I've only really ever known one out of four grandparents. My paternal grandmother died before my parents met and my two grandfathers died the year I turned four. I have numerous other family members who died before I got a chance to meet them and one uncle who passed just four years ago.
So, would I choose to meet one of them? Someone I had never known? That was only connected me via the stories I had heard?
Or, would I choose to witness, first hand, some of the more well-known events of the world's history?
My Dad is a great story-teller. He doesn't really get sidetracked and he, usually, makes it to the end of the story without repeating himself or forgetting where he is in the story. He has this beautiful picture of his mother on his dresser and I remember when I was younger I would ask to hear stories about her, Bonnie.
He would tell me stories about when he and his siblings were younger, about when his parents were still alive, about all their moves, and things he did that were stupid and how he would get in trouble for them. She sounded like such a wonderful, sweet woman and I would imagine what it would be like if she was still alive.
Now that I had though about all that, and had, for so long, wanted to meet this woman, my grandmother, whose grave we go to every time we are in Arkansas, I knew that was when I would go.
I would meet my grandmother and, depending on when I went, I would get to meet my dad and my aunt and uncle when they were children. There is that one drawback, though: knowing you will have to leave and knowing you will have to say goodbye, only having that short amount of time with that person. But still, can you imagine what an experience that would be?