February 1, 2012

The Domino Effect...Or What Might Have Been

There's a family legend...maybe some truth, maybe none, or maybe all.  Who knows?  Rumor is that my grandfather knew my grandmother for all of two weeks and proposed to her because he felt he would surely be killed in the war and she seemed like a nice lady who could use the money when he died (That is the worst grammar ever, by the way.)  They were married for fifty gazillion years.  It wasn't always pretty, but they loved each other in that old fashioned way that didn't quit and give up.

My parents were kinda the same.  They knew one another for about 3 months when Dad proposed.  As the story goes, she drove through the gas station with orange juice cans curled up in her hair and it was love at first sight.  I think it had more to do with her car, but what do I know?  They are absolutely perfect...maybe perfectly crazy some days, but the perfect complement to one another.

What I find interesting is the question of what might have been...I think of it as the domino effect.  If one little thing in our lives had been different, what bigger things might have been as well.  What if my grandpa had been sent to another base?  What if my grandmother had laughed and sent him on his way.  He was a damn Yankee outta Brooklyn, and she was a southern girl from south Jawja (Georgia for those of you not familiar with that accent).  I swear I still didn't get how they could understand each other with those accents...

What if my mom's dad, my Pepaw, had told her to get that Yankee hippie out of his house?  What if my dad had married his high school girlfriend?  For one, there would be no me, and we all know what a tragedy that would have been...

There were stories after 9-11 about people who hit snooze one too many times and were late to work...or the cab didn't stop for them...or they had a dentist appointment.  All of those little things that changed their lives in such a huge way, but were really small at the time.  That's what gets me.  What if the dominoes in our lives had fallen differently?

What if I hadn't gone off to the big college where I lost my way and my faith in myself?  What if had been braver at being me rather than trying to be someone else?  

Alas, life knows best, and the universe has planted me in the best spot possible.  It was a wandering journey with a couple of wrong turns, but some sweet pitstops along the way.  Sure, you wonder sometimes what might have been different, but (hopefully) knowing that where you are is right where you are meant to be. 

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