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Friday, February 15, 2013

A Chance To Go Back In Time

I wonder if they will ever invent a way to travel back in time?  If they do, there are a few moments that I wish to revisit and appreciate a little more. 

I would like to go back to my wedding day.  Not so much to just relive that moment, although it was wonderful, but more to go back and see my grandmother again.  I was such a bitch that weekend. I acted like it was all about me and I didn’t spend enough time with her.  She flew all the way from Iowa to Hawaii to see her first granddaughter get married even though she was dying.  I wish I could go back and realize how short her time here really was.  I thought, Oh I’ll see her again in a few months.  I don’t need to go check on her in her room or have dinner with her tonight….Selfishly I let these moments slip by. 

She died a few weeks after my wedding.

I would like to go back to the days when Oli was a baby. I cannot believe I actually just said that!  I used to say you couldn’t pay me a million dollars to return to those days.  But here I am saying it. 
I have come to realize that something happened or changed in Oli after she turned one.  She seemed normal as a baby.  No head shaking, no flapping, she babbled and was interested in other people.  Other than her blindness, she was typical.  I was so distraught and terrified that I didn’t appreciate that she was okay.  She was okay back then.  She’s okay now, but it’s different.

I just watched a video of her yesterday from when she was about 6 months old.  She was playing in her bouncy seat.  I almost couldn’t watch it.  I had an inexplicable urge to reach through the TV and scoop her up and transport her to now.  Avoiding whatever it may have been that caused her autism.  Whatever connection that she lost or was broken between then and now.

My family will mention to me lots of times that they just don’t understand why she stopped talking and why she started shaking her head, flapping her arms, and having extreme meltdowns.  They will say things like “Remember when Oli said _____?”  And then look at me like I can somehow offer them a reasonable explanation for the change in my child. 

I can only look back at them with my own expression of bewilderment and shake my head.  I don’t know why, but I do remember those days.  Some of those memories are starting to fade.  Much like when my grandmother died. I have a harder and harder time recalling her face and voice as the years pass.  Seeing a picture of her brings it flooding back.  Watching that video of Oli yesterday did just that.

Yes, now I remember when she said mamma, milk, juice, out…. I remember when I used to do something to make her giggle and could snap a picture of her and it didn’t just show a blur of movement.  I remember when she used to try and hold a spoon and feed herself, when I could keep her engaged and she showed interest in things outside her body….. I do remember all of those things.  Even when sometimes I don’t want to because it’s just too painful.

I hope they invent a time machine some day because I would also love to go back and knock some sense into my head.  “Stop feeling sorry for yourself and pay attention to all that your daughter can do. Because some of those things, they will fade away…”

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