The concept of time travel is anything but new. It has been a subject of countless stories, books, tv shows and movies for many, many years. My childhood would have never been the same if not for the likes of Land of the Lost, Back to the Future or Quantum Leap. These stories helped to spur the creative genes inside my soul and made me believe most anything could be possible. This week time travel is the subject of the weekly writing challenge from the daily post. They are calling it time machine and want to know our take on the concept of traveling trough time.
I for one have always been amazed at the creativity involved in the show Quantum Leap. The idea of hopping into the lives of others, having to become a completely different person while trying to maintain or better their lives without losing yourself was amazing to watch. On the show Sam had Al to help him find his way and hope for the eventual leap home, but it always seemed lost.
Well I have decided to create my own Quantum Leap experiment. To make sure I can leap to where I plan and always find my way back I will be making a few tweaks to the concept. It starts by connecting my being to that of my late father and using his lifetime for travel destinations instead of my own. There are a lot of amazing things that have happened during my lifetime, but there are so many more moments of his life I want to experience.
I have also decided that the ability to alter events of other’s lives would be way too much responsibility for me to handle. For that reason my experiment is as an observer only and I will have no control over the events that will be unfolding around me. I believe this will be better for everyone involved and will take away the desire to better any situations I find myself observing.
The first place I want to observe is boot camp. My dad spent a few years in the army not too long after the world was at war and when the pride of being a soldier was probably outweighed only by the terror of it. It would be a joy to see the man my dad was before he became a husband or a father.
Next I would travel to that first dance. The one where my uncle introduced his sister to an army buddy. Did he have a clue this buddy would become his future brother who would marry the woman later known by me and my siblings only as mom? Just imagine being able to observe that look of love on the very first night your parents met. You could find out if that first conversation was awkward or did they have instant chemistry? Was dad a true gentleman or did mom go after the bad boy? How wonderful it could be to find all the answers to these questions.
Next stop on my travels would be when the news was broke that my oldest brother was on his way. Was it a time of great joy or tremendous fear? Did dad say all the right things or did he trip over his words? How much was mom glowing? How did their families handle the news? More and more questions could be answered about the start of our amazing family and it would be astounding if I could be a witness to it.
I would want a full day to spend with dad while he was stationed in Korea. I want to experience the atmosphere with him. Find out how he handled the tension, the fear and how he handled missing his family back home. I want to sit with him during those long moments of silence and contemplation and then be there when he gathers with other soldiers to play poker, drink a few beers or talk a little trash at the end of a long day.
There are many more moments I want to be there to see. A few I want to relive from my adult perspective and a few more I want to cry through again.
There is the day my parents exchanged vows, my very first day of school, the day I called to let them know I wrecked my first car, the first time I got a hit playing baseball, the day my brother nearly lost a toe riding his bicycle, the day my sister told my parents she was pregnant, the day my dad drove his motorcycle off the truck ramp, the day the family went all in and purchased dad’s first big screen tv without him knowing, the day he received papers to serve in desert storm and later the papers he received finding him unfit for duty because of his knees.
So many times I could find joy in seeing or reliving. Experiencing the moments without the haze of years gone by or memories faded, but reliving them in the moment. If only I could find one of those days when dad was on a roll and telling his jokes or being the silly man we all adored. A day when mom was yelling at him to shut up while all of us kids laughed and rolled in the floor. Those days I could play over and over again.
There are times when I would really want to break my own rules and interfere with the moment. The final days before he became sick and we lost him are first and foremost in my mind. I would want to break through the memory and place myself more prominently in the scene. Tell him how much he meant to us all and that we could have never been the people we are without his guidance, his love and yes, even his money. He taught us to work hard, care for the right things, and never stray far from the path. We know what’s right and what’s wrong because he showed us everyday with his decisions and his love.
“Our family is the amazing bunch we are because you were so strong, mom is still strong and we have memories to last. Mom hurts everyday along with the rest of us but she survives because its the only way she knows, the way you would have done it and the way you would want it.”
If only I could tell him all this and more, but I cannot interfere. Besides this is all just a way to write an answer to a challenge. The leaps are not possible no matter how much I wish they were. Time travel, leaps into the past and observation of past memories are a bit of science fiction I don’t have the ability to make come into fruition.
I can however maintain the memories I have and share them with the rest of the family. I can remember the good days, the bad days and the final days. I can be an even better man and carry on his legacy. Those are all items well within my power.
If time travel becomes reality my goals may not be as lofty as some. I don’t care about seeing the dinosaurs, the signing of the declaration of independence or the moon landing. I just want a little more time to spend with family. A little more insight into my own life based on others who shaped it. I’ll let others be the T-Rex’s next meal while I enjoy my time hanging out with loved ones. I think most everyone could use a little more time for that.