Eight years ago, I had permission to pick up my granddaughter Hannah at her middle school after school was out for that day. I remember that day as if it were yesterday, for it was my son’s birthday [as well as her dad’s.] and it was warm, sunny and some leaves were swirling around across the street. I had parked in the faculty parking lot because I had been a teacher but not at that school.
As I sat in my parked car, my eyes took in the familiar surroundings for I knew them well—in fact I had stared at them for three long years but that was long ago. Her school was a middle school but it had been a high school and the one I attended as a student. I could picture the football players standing near Park Avenue: I was a sophomore and fourteen years old at that time and I was terrified just walking by them. That was a silly thought that popped into my head as I stared in that direction from the parking lot.
It’s amazing how memories of the past came rushing into my mind of who was standing where, of the windows of the former classrooms I was in and the guys I had dated—for I could see them in my mind’s eye. For a second, I wanted to go back in time and relive just a part of those three years to undo some choices I had made but then it hit me like a bolt of lightning –did I ever think then that I would be in the school’s parking lot waiting for my granddaughter? Never occurred to me at all at that time and why would it in the first place?
“Had I not made that choice to date a man who was older than me and eventually marry him, then my granddaughter would not have existed” I thought to myself and it was one of those “George Bailey” moments from the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” where Clarence the angel, grants George his wish that he’d never been born—not that I wished that, but I did consider the ramifications of the fact that my son wouldn’t have been born, much less her had I made a different choice in my marriage, and such was the circle that would be.
I pass by that school often but my granddaughter is now in college, and although she is, I still picture that day I had parked in the faculty parking lot to wait for her to come rushing to my car. Just seeing her was a moment of pure happiness. It was the perfect day of fall’s early entrance, past memories and the joy I felt in being a grandmother. After she got in my car, we were off to see her dad [and my son,] on his birthday: He too had gone to the very same school when it was a high school.
It really is amazing how life comes around full circle, but sometimes you need to stop and look at where you were long ago—if it still exists. Luckily it did for me on that very day.
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