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If you could return to the past to relive a part of your life, either to experience the wonderful bits again, or to do something over, which part of you life would you return to? Why?

My life has been a patchwork of experiences, each serving its own purpose at the time. There’s the good girl me who strove to please my parents and get good grades and recognition in school and high school. There’s the me that grieved for my father when he died and tried to make sense of his choosing suicide, and my quest for understanding the nature of eternal life. That phase continued partly through university. That was also a time when I had some of the best experiences of my life, and the most fun. Then there was the working me — married, no children, just working at a couple of jobs I loved: CBS Records in London, then the large association in Washington D.C. after we moved to this area in 1973.

Then there is the mother-me, that phase of life were my attentions were largely devoted to loving and raising children — perhaps the best time of life. I was fortunate that I was able to stay home and be with my children, not every mother has that choice, but I enjoyed it and did a pretty good job of it. Strangely, I wasn’t even sure I wanted children before I had my first daughter at 30, but it changed my life entirely. Even though I had loved my job, it really took a back seat to being with my children. Three more children rapidly followed, and each of them was uniquely loveable. Going through two miscarriages before the first child was definitely a turning point, because I had to accept that there may never be children. I also didn’t have a job; I had to leave my precious association for bed rest two months before my second miscarriage, and so for a while after that I had nothing. It was turning point: I realized that my job didn’t define me, I was a person with other interests and possibilities. As luck would have it, another job opened up at my association and I was invited to work there again — until I had my daughter.

Then there was my fight with alcoholism. That certainly wasn’t in my plans — but there was no doubt that I was an alcoholic by the time I was around 45. Fortunately, with a lot of help, support and love, I survived and learned so much from my experiences in rehab and AA, that I feel I gained much more than I lost. It made me rethink my whole way of living and thinking, and my relationships, and I’m a wiser person for it. It also changed my relationship with God, my higher power.

We got the kids through college, and on their way to productive careers, marriages, and then all of a sudden there were just the two of us at home, and eventually us and 10 grandchildren. My, how life comes full circle. I wouldn’t change a thing, the patchwork of my life has been made a complete quilt, not quite finished.

Back to the original question, is there anything I would like to go back and re-experience? I have a thousand pictures of my children when they were babies and youngsters. I’d like to go back to the time they were each babies, to hold and cuddle them again, to breast-feed them, bond with them, and have them an extension of me as they were for a short period of their and my life. Any other woman feel that way?