living and growing, remembering

24

If you could go back to one 24 hour period in time, when would you choose and why would you choose it?

I woke up one morning thinking about this.

The first thing that came to mind was people that I’ve lost. If I could choose just one day to go back to, would I use the 24 hours to be with them?

Both of my parents are gone. Of course I would jump at the chance to be able to sit with either of my parents, even if just for a few minutes. Just being with them would cause my heart to swell.

I imagine just wanting to express to them how much I love them. Perhaps there was something I had wished I had expressed to them while they were alive? If there was, I would share that with them. But when I think about doing that, I imagine the conversation, and I know that any thoughts I shared now, thoughts that may have remained unspoken while they were alive – would be met now with a smile from them, and that they would respond by saying, “I know”. I firmly believe that they are both in heaven, and in that place, they have full knowledge of my heart for them. So although my heart misses them, I realized that a chance to have a 24 hour ‘birds eye view’ of our relationship, and a chance to remember it more vividly is not what I long for most.

So which 24 hours would I choose and who would it be with?

The thought I kept coming back to was time with my kids and my husband. Without any doubt, I would go back to a day when they were all very young and I would choose a day where we were all together.

Within the span of eight years, I had five children and two miscarriages. In those eight years I spent more time pregnant than not. If I think of it in months, I was pregnant 50 out of 96 months! Those first years were wonderful but they were also exhausting! I don’t remember as much from those days as clearly and deeply as I wish I could.

So I would like to go back to that season and pick just a normal average day. I would like to see that day through the eyes of present-day me.

Everyone tells young parents to ‘enjoy this time… it goes by so quick’! But when you are severely sleep deprived, survival is really the name of the game. You absolutely enjoy the moments and are filled with wonder and awe and appreciation for your beautiful children but you are doing it at a deficit more often than not.

So I would love to go back and just revel in them. To revel in us. I think I would enjoy them in a new way – even the squabbles. I would love to see my younger self and my husband’s younger self interacting with them. I have a feeling I would be surprised by what I saw.

As I was imagining going back in time though, a funny thing happened. I realized that I don’t actually need to. Even though I can’t remember those days in the detail that I wish I could. Even though sleep deprivation, pregnancy, raising babies, toddlers and kids, all took a toll on my memory, I discovered I did remember what mattered. I discovered that I am able to clearly and deeply see that those days were good because they were filled with love. And love is the most important part of ‘us’. It’s the part that I will never forget.

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