Time travel is a recurring theme on this blog, and is also how I get so much accomplished in the course of a day. While Doc Brown is my idol for many reasons, inventing the Flux Capacitor could very well top the list.
I discovered yesterday, however, that not all time travel requires plutonium and a fancy car. Sometimes, a picture is not only worth a thousand words, but is also the key to rocketing back a few decades. Back to a time when actual cameras, loaded with film, were used to capture moments and lock them onto photo paper for eternity.
The two people on the far left, the extremely attractive couple to whom your eyes are immediately drawn, are my parents.
Yes, my parents were very old when they had me. I’ve always carried around this guilty feeling that the reason my Mom died of a heart attack when I was 3 was because she’d given birth to me at such an advanced age. No one has ever disputed that fact, so the theory continues to linger.
Since Mom died when I was so young, I have absolutely no memory of her. For The Boy With The Wild Imagination, there is not a single story I can conjure up in my mind that includes my Mother because there’s nothing about her up in my memory banks.
This photo is only the third one I have of my parents together. As I looked at it last night, I let my imagination take control. I sent myself 60 years into the past to be in attendance at this party. I stared at the table with the six revelers and studied every last feature. I made up a list of resolutions for the group, created conversations, and tried to find glimpses of myself in my parents’ movements and mannerisms.
In my mind, my Mom kept addressing my Dad by name simply because I wanted to imagine what it would be like to hear her say “Austin”. I also had her laugh often, because I had a longing to know how my Mother sounded when she was happy.
I emailed the picture to The Girl Who Knows Me Better Than Anyone, and she told me my parents were adorable. My adventure through time was even more enjoyable once I’d invited her to join me. I’ve always wanted her to meet my parents, and in my mind last night, she finally did.
Maybe my fascination with time travel was finally explained by a photograph that’s older than I. Perhaps I wish I had a means to go back and be with my parents again, to finally get to know my Mother, and to fill my mind with memories I can conjure up any time my time machine is in for repairs.
I’m so grateful for the opportunity to travel back to that moment, and I can see myself taking that trip again in the near future.
Time travel is real, Modern Philosophers. All you need to do is close your eyes and open your mind…