what if…?


On the drive home this morning, I heard a promo for the show, This American Life on NPR. The host Ira Glass, outlined in a quick 15-second spot, “What would you do…if you could go back in time? The answers might surprise you…” and then played a few answers people offered. “I might go back and punch my bully from junior high,” someone said. “I don’t know, that’s a lot of responsibility…” Another added before Ira invited the audience to tune-in Saturday.

“Sounds like an interesting show…” I thought to myself before I changed stations and continued home.

This morning I posed the question to Mrs. K. “If you could go back in time, what would you do?” In case you are unaware, Mrs. K is 93 years old and sadly has outlived both her husband and eldest born son. Yet her first response surprised me.  Giving some thought behind the question, she said, “Maybe back to the time when I first joined the Army. That was such an exciting time…” and then added, “Or maybe to my wedding day–so many possibilities opened for me that day”. “What would you do?” She asked me in return. “I’m not sure. The day my kids were born…or maybe that last Christmas eve with my mom…” I said before changing my mind. On second thought, no, scratch that. I prefer to remember mom alive and vibrant. Hmm…maybe back to 4th grade when I slapped Doug Roscoe across the face–because of the empowerment I felt during that moment.” I said as we laughed. “Why did you do that?” she asked and I shrugged my shoulders saying, “I don’t remember,  but I’m sure he deserved what he got…” and we both laughed some more.


For the past seven days, my doll has been kicking herself over her failure to “record” a certain song at the rock and roll show we attended together. So with full confidence if I posed the same question, her answer would be “To record FLY instead of singing along and enjoying being in the moment”.

To that point, here is a sampling of a recent conversation we’ve had concerning this subject “So what you’re telling me is you wish you had a visual reminder from the show?” “Yes,” she replied. “But didn’t you record other songs?” “Yes, but not my favorite song”. She mourned. “Ah…so tell me, do you think you would have had as much fun recording the song, as you enjoyed while dancing and singing along?” I wondered. “Probably not, but I would have captured the song,” She said.

A 13-year old’s quandary.

“Doll, now you understand where your father and I are coming from–before cell phones and recording devices. The pre-digital world where all we could use is our brains and imagination”. “Mom, that’s so lame, even for you!” She remarked before adding, “I know, but I just wish…”


So if you could go back for one hour in any one given day…would you and if so, where would you go?




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