If I could turn back time and the clocks went back, if I could relive one moment, what would I choose? Maybe…
-that day before my father announced he was going away to fight in a conflict that no one supported. That was the last time I remember my family being truly happy, a time when my mother laughed without reservation and we lived without fear. We were grateful that he returned a year later but he was changed, someone I did not recognise. We were strangers and from that moment, we treated each other as though a harsh word would cause irreparable damage, treading gently lest we upset the uneasy balance in our relationship. The breach continued until his dying days and found the courage to express our true feelings. Too late for repair but it was the beginning of a bridge, nonetheless.
-either of my two wedding days – the first as a youngster; full of hope and excitement for the celebration itself. Or would it be the second, when I had endured experiences of motherhood and hardship and so, our love for each other eclipsed all the trimmings of the occasion.
-the birth of my daughter – the birth itself I would not revisit willingly – but the nights afterwards in hospital when it was the two of us in a cocoon of getting to know each other. I could not bear to put her down, cuddling my bundle as darkness overtook the room and until the midwives forced me to rest. The hospital chaplain, a friend, crept into my room way past the visiting hours and blessed my gift from God. New feelings ruled my life.
-the birth of my granddaughter – a more recent event and one that has led to a relationship begun during the most meaningful of life’s experiences and connected by the knowledge that my blood flows through her veins. Her curly hair and sense of humour are part of my bequest.
-or would it be the first time my baby granddaughter said, ‘I love you’. My chest struggled to contain my heart that day.
No, if the clocks went back and I could choose any moment, it would be the last time I hugged my precious daughter and granddaughter. This time I would not let go.