ourtown2As a young girl, I saw the play by Thornton Wilder, “Our Town”. In the play, Emily dies young and her ghost is allowed to re-experience one day of her life. I remember one of the supporting characters telling Emily not to choose her birthday.

“Ghosts always choose birthdays to go back to earth and are always disappointed. Choose another day, Emily. Not your birthday.”

She chooses her 12th birthday, anyway. Instead of relishing in the love that her family has for each other, she sees how much her family takes each other for granted. They barely look at one another as they rush around in the morning.

It was heart-wrenching to watch them move in close proximity to each other, yet completely miss one another, especially with the knowledge that Emily would not be with them for long. Heart-wrenching because it could easily be a day in the life of many American families, including mine.

In my young mind, I decided then and there that I would not choose my birthday, were I ever given the chance to experience a day after I die.

In fact, I have gone so far as to try to remember the dates of really, really good days. Just in case…. ghost to ghost…..I am ever asked what day I would like to go back and experience again….I would need to have the date in my head.

I’ve been playing this game with myself ever since.

Like April 17, 2009. We were all outside riding horses, playing Frisbee, and messing around with the dogs. All five of us. We were all home together. Really together. I would choose April 17, 2009. So far…