Looking back … A.K.A. Hindsight

The process of writing “Dear Mom and Dad” was an experience that I wouldn’t want to have to go through again. Not because it was painful, which it was much of the time. It is something that I would recommend, however, for anyone who is in search of the truth of their life. I learned two things in the process of writing about this unusual life.
The first was when I realized upon completing the initial 750+ page draft that if it was actually published, people who’d been a part of my life would know if I was being honest. That led to the first major edit, which was done with the thought that each page would be a record of the reality of the time, and not a memory revised to ease a conscience.
The second thing I learned was what the effect of writing in the third person had on the way I looked at the life George had led. In every memoir or autobiography I’ve ever read it has been written from the “I did” standpoint. I wrote from my viewpoint, as having been there, watching and waiting as George went through all his successes and failures. In other words it was, in reality a biography which eventually morphed into an autobiography. Thus it really was a memoir and not biographical in nature. I believe that writing from that viewpoint added an element of objectivity that would have been impossible otherwise. That thought makes me think that a companion book should be written about me … by “George.”
It isn’t natural for human beings to see themselves in a flawless mirror. We all want the magic mirror the wicked queen peered into each day and asked, “Who’s the fairest of them all?” Unfortunately the mirrors of our lives tend to magnify our faults and not our beauties. It’s a characteristic that has made millionaires out of countless plastic surgeons. But, those are merely the visible flaws. It’s the hidden flaws, the flaws which are represented in our self-image view of “how” we are not “what” we are.
The process of writing “Dear Mom and Dad” brought that point home to me in clear unmistakable terms. I was forced to take a hard look at the effect wishful thinking had, as opposed to the effect reality thinking would have had on the results of my life. I had to face the fact that many things might have been different if I’d been as aware of the importance of seeing the facets of my life in focus as I do now.
The last sentence of “Dear Mom and Dad” is a quote from an old “Dennis the Menace” cartoon. “Wish I was three again knowing what I know now.” While that is an accurate reflection of many feelings it is also misleading in one respect. I would not be the person I am today if I’d lived any other way. I am the sum total of all the successes as well as all the failures. Yes there are times when I wish Superman would reverse the rotation of the earth once again and turn back the clock in the process, but all in all I’m happy with my life and the only thing I don’t like is absence of our bride.
At any given moment I may waiver in my contentment with the way life has turned out but overall I believe it is progressing exactly the way God intends it to. If there would be any advantage to starting over “knowing what I know now” it would be to let Abba have His way much sooner. But then of course, for all I know this has been … His Way.

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