I don’t know if everyone that loses a loved one thinks this or not, but the idea of time travel has become very intriguing to me. Of course, I want to be in time and place when Dave is here on earth with me…I think most folks want to be with their loved one again. When I think about being in that time and space though, there is something missing – my youngest son Ben. Ben was born only six months before Dave died and his birth and Dave’s illness and death were happening nearly simultaneously.
I’ve always had a strong sense of déjà vu. I will encounter things or places and know that I know the place. I don’t know if that is a strong imagination or something else. I know that right before Ben was born, we found out that Dave had suspicious neoplasms…not good. We knew that the doctor wanted him to go to the hospital and have the specialists check him and have the tests done to confirm his suspicions. We knew all this right after I came home from my doctor who told me we would have our baby the day after tomorrow-I was ready to be induced-we would go Friday…and we knew…Dave would go in when I was home after our baby was born.
When we went to hospital, I had that sense, that weird sense that something was happening beyond the obvious…we were having a baby. We were happy. We were overjoyed and surrounded by family and friends. It was still in our minds though that something else was going to change. When I left that hospital on Sunday morning with my family intact, it was like we walked through this weird portal. We went back to our lives, but it was changed forever and not in the way we had expected. We had expected the joy of our new son and to raise our family much as we had been…we didn’t expect the news we heard five days later…the doctors told my husband that they were so sorry…but they would do their best to keep him comfortable and try to prolong his life.
Several years after Dave died…with the empty evenings at home with my children I was watching too much TV really. Anyway, I started watching LOST. It was around the time when Desmond was on a lot. His travels back and forth through time were one of the main story lines. I really got “lost” in it. What if that could really happen? Wouldn’t that be great! Now, because of the show’s immense popularity…I am assuming that I am not the only person in the world that would enjoy time travel…even people that haven’t lost a loved one.
I think that there is also a strange phenomenon with grief. You can get lost in your memories. Maybe that’s where time travel starts. With the yearning that is so strong…with the need to fill the hole that the loss has created…with the disbelief that this is really happening…maybe that is what spurs the imagination into a place where the realms, the walls between realities become thin and we feel like we can move easily between them. I know my brain was so lost and confused…it was such a whirlwind. Our baby was born. Cancer entered. My husband was dead. I was alone, left to raise our boys. All I wanted was to go back, change something, and turn out the happy ending not the one I was stepping into in this time and place.
Now as I sit five years down the road, I am not consumed with the need to be back in time anymore…do I crave it at times? ABSOLUTELY! I know that forward is the trajectory that I am on and that my kids need me and the harsh reality is that life really does go on…and on, and on…I have somewhere found the balance between disbelief and belief. I count on holding the balance between why me and why not me? I walk in the current time, in this reality and do my best to love and keep my heart from freezing over into stone. Most days I do it just fine…other days not so well and my longing for another time and another place sear through me…
In those early days after he died, I would curse the sunrise every morning. Now I know better, I know today is a new beginning. I know it is here and now, not another time and place. I know that it was looking at the beauty every of sunrise every day that gave me hope that life can be beautiful again. I am given new beautiful beginning every day. It is a different beginning, a different reality than I wanted, but it is mine. I humbly borrow a great line from a great author…”and so it goes”.