When you have the option to go anywhere, anytime, right now, it’s hard to decide just one place to go to. I think of all the places I dreamed of going: Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Romania and I think how wonderful these places would be: the hard, red dirt of the deserts, the lush great mountains, the ancient buildings that age timelessly stuck in the past. But then I think, as much fun as that would be, it wouldn’t be fun because I wouldn’t be able to call home and tell my dad about it.
My dad died almost a year ago. He never got to see me get a new job or watch movies that we used to watch together, among many other things. I still catch myself stowing away things I want to tell my dad only to remember that I can’t tell him about it because he’s not here anymore for me to tell. When I go hiking, I see the vibrant reds, greens, yellows, and browns that make up the hiking trails that we used to walk leisurely down and I feel a pang of sadness; he used to enjoy these things too. When I read a book, he’d ask me what I’m reading and when I’m writing he’d ask me if I was writing a story about him.
I don’t watch Doctor Who, nor do I believe in time machines, but if either one showed up in my living room, so stark and out of place admist the antiques, I would make them go back in time so that I could see my dad again. I’d take more hikes, watch more movies, go the amusement park often. And knowing what I know now (and even what I suspect about what happened about my dad’s death), I would have my mom and I be more insistent to the doctor’s about my dad’s health that they chose to ignore for a week. Then maybe, just maybe, he’d be around a whole lot longer.