My kids begged to go back to the small town restaurant my grandparents used to take us to when we would return to my hometown for a visit. We managed to catch dinner there before the visitation at the funeral home tonight. My kids, ranging in age from 20 - 15 have spent quite a bit of time playing "Do you remember . . ." and sharing memories from hanging out with their Great-Grandparents and Grandparents. My sisters and I have also done a bit of reminiscing about our years in our hometown. We talked about friends, some of whom we've renewed contact with via things like Facebook, and old boyfriends. The memories moved from there to family activities to church and school events.
I had a moment of clarity that could possibly be called an epiphany. Every moment, choice, and experience - whether good or bad - has made me the person I am today and led to where I am in life. The positive parts of my character and my relationships have been crafted by the variety of experiences I had growing up in a small Michigan town. Do I ever have the urge to play "What if " or "I wonder if"? Sure. Don't we all have those moments when we think about what used to be? Whatever was, I am who I am today because of my past and I am where I am - married to a Pastor, mother of four children, etc. - because of the paths I followed in my past.
It is my hope and prayer that I have learned from my mistakes enough not to repeat them, that I have learned from my successes and repeat them often, that my failed relationships taught me something about how to love better and more effectively and that I remember to be grateful for all of it.