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This post is part of June's Synchroblog, where we were invited to travel back in time to the “You” of 10 or 20 years ago and tell yourself something you know now but wish you had known then
This is not as easy as one might think...given the Temporal Prime Directive, and all. My post title is a reference to one of my favorite Star Trek: Voyager episodes. The important line of advice from Captain Janeway to Harry Kim is: "Well, if you won't take it from me, take it from you."
Temporal paradoxes are very complicated and trying to understand them will burn your brain up in a hurry...and if I was, in fact, able to go back in time and tell myself something very important...it would, undoubtedly change my timeline today. That's the point, right?
There are so many things I have learned in the past four, er, eight years that I wish I had known 10 or 20 years ago. But calculating the when of this endeavor is of paramount importance. It can be any time after Memorial Day of 2000. So, I'm going back just over 14 years ago.
Because if I change anything between October of 1992 and April of 2000, I risk the loss of the three most precious gifts God gave this earth through me: my three sons. (Cue 1960s music....)
And that is something that simply must not happen.
But there is a day that sometimes messes with me...still. And if I could go back and change one thing that day, everything would change for me and my family...and it would perhaps mean that all traces of AbiSomeone, Virtual Abbess of the Purple Martyrdom, would disappear from the Internet.
Such are the risks one takes when playing with time.
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"Robert, could we turn right and take the scenic drive home, please? It is so beautiful with all the spring flowers blooming and the water in the creek is running so high and fast -- there is that little waterfall that should be just awesome. Please?"
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On the 3rd of June, 2000, we were celebrating our oldest son's 5th birthday (a few weeks late) at our local Denny's. As we pulled out of the restaurant's driveway, I simply suggested that we turn right. I didn't say why. Maybe Robert didn't hear me...maybe he had other plans for the drive home...in any case, he turned left and we ended up at the front of the left turn lane, just as the light turned green.
Just then, as we accelerated, we heard the sound of a siren coming toward our intersection. Robert stopped to ensure that the way was clear. The young man in the big pickup behind us didn't hear or see what was happening, and slammed right into us...our Mazda 929's bumper a good 8 inches lower than his steel bumper, which went straight into our trunk.
Right then all our lives changed.
My 5 year old and 17 month old sons, seemingly secure in their car seats, both suffered concussions as their heads were slammed back. Neurological damage is slow to manifest and even slower to resolve. I can't even talk about it...my heart is breaking all over again.
I knew I was pregnant -- just two weeks! Somehow I was turned toward the boys in the back seat, which is how I saw their heads bounce off the backs of their car seats. I sustained twisting injuries of my cervical spine/neck muscles and ligaments as well as of my L5/S1 vertebrae in my low back.
...and with a little over eight months more of ligament relaxing hormones pumping into my 44 year old, ever-changing, body mechanics, the prognosis for full restoration was not very hopeful.
That day my babies lost a mostly functional mommy and had to learn to make do with a very broken-down, purple one. This is not something that they have understood very well...especially the two little ones, who never really knew me "before"...but that is another story for another time, perhaps.
In particularly melancholic moments, I wonder if I would have even had the rest of my slew of injuries in the ensuing years...compounding, as it seems, from that first, catastrophic, injury.
"What if?" is a place where I have spent a lot of energy, these past 14 years. It is not a good place to be -- because there is no time travel. And even if I had a Time Turner, I couldn't safely go back more than five hours. And the Omega 13 Device could only go back 13 seconds. Way too late for fixing....
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Nope, I can't go back. I must live fully in the present, forgiving the past as the best we knew how to do at the time. I must embrace the severe mercy of my beloved Triune God, whose merciful and loving grace faithfully works in and through all of our pain and suffering to bring into being amazing goodness that would not otherwise exist.
Suffering is part of the hard work of learning patience and compassion. For myself...for others...for all of Creation.
Living in the past or living in the future are time wasters for me. I need YHWH, the Present Presence, to keep me in the here and now...walking baby steps with Jesus in the midst of the darkness and nightmares. We will get through to the light of morning.
I keep waking up every day.
We do not have the opportunity to deal with temporal paradoxes, but Perichoretic cHesed Paradoxes are all over the place for this wee, purple, forward-looking, Papa-trusting, Jesus-following, Sarayu-transformed abbess.
In due time God will restore what the locust has eaten.
But that will not be my doing -- I cannot fix any of that. There is no magic wand...there is only embracing pain as the way of human learning. I must walk in faith into what I am learning about who God is and who I am and what it is that I am to be doing: receiving God's merciful loving kindness and returning it by sharing it with those God puts in my path.
...I'm happy not to lose all of my virtual fellow journey mates.... ;^)
Be blessed...and do read the rest of the bloggers, when the links are up!
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Here's the blog links!
- Justin Steckbauer – What Do You Wish You Knew 10 or 20 years ago?
- Michael Donahoe – What I Wish I had Known
- Mary – What I Wish I Would Have Known as a Newlywed
- Heather Wheat – As a Young Mother, I Wish I Had Known…
- Michelle – Ten Years of Wisdom
- Michelle – Twenty Years of Wisdom
- Wesley Rostoll – If I Could Speak to a Younger Version of Me
- Peggy – From Peggy … To Peggy
- Glenn Hager – The Reluctant Time Lord
- Carol Kuniholm – Life Lessons from Lydia
- Edwin Adrich – A Note to My Younger Self
- Paul Metler – A Note to my 20 Year Ago Self
- Liz Dyer – Dear Me
- Kathy Escobar – Never Say Never
- Jeremy Myers – A Letter to the “Me” of 15 Years Ago
- Kimberly Klein – Be Free, Be You
- Loveday Anyim – Hot Romance with the Dreams of the Sparkling Old Times
- Susan Cottrell - Be Kind To Yourself