|Um, this lady?|
So on I move to someone else. Who would I want to swap places with for 24 hours? Someone powerful? Highly intelligent? Beautiful? Rich? Famous? Whose life do I in some way place a higher value on than my own?
Look, I admit I'm curious. What would it be like to command the world's attention? To have every eye on me as I walk down the street? To never worry about money? To buy anything I desire (or to gift my family with all the things they deserve)? There are certain people whose mere existence fascinates me. Wouldn't I like to swap with them? It would only be 24 hours.
My life is far from glamorous. I am far from glamorous. According to the world's standards, I am mediocre at best. I will never discover or create anything significant. I am not striking or beautiful. I am neither rich nor powerful. I am just another person, another face in a sea of faces.
Yet I am so perfectly content with this life. I have a family who loves me, friends to laugh with, a home in which to rest, my mind, my health, my experiences. I have a devoted husband whom I'm still crazy about after ten years and a precious little miracle named Amelia. We are warm, fed, safe and happy. Yes, it would be easier if we had a neverending flow of money, but we have enough. When it comes down to it, I have nothing to complain about.
I have no desire to trade places with some celebrity or politician, just to see how "the other half" live. Why would I give up an entire day with the people I love just to be chased by photographers or to spend obnoxious amounts of money? What would I gain? Nothing except a few meaningless memories and a possible seed of discontent.
My problem then became, "How will I complete this challenge?" I feel like it's a bit of a cop out to say I wouldn't trade with anyone. So I had to step back and look at it from a different angle. Is there someone who would want to borrow my life for a day? Though I am rather average, is there someone who needs to be me for awhile? Even considering this made me feel rather arrogant.
Ooh, who is the lucky person who gets to be Amber?
It sounds terrible, doesn't it?
Then it hit me. Who would appreciate the things I love? Who could benefit from a day of health and rest and laughter? Who would enjoy the time with my sweet little Peanut?
I would give my 24 hours to my grandmother. I wish I could give her a day of happiness and health. I wish she could get out of bed and walk, no run, out of her room. I wish she could laugh and forget her sadness for awhile. I wish she could come to my house and spend the day with my Amelia. I wish she had the ability to pick her up and swing her around and hold her little body close. I wish she and my mother could go shopping or shell peas or do whatever it is they did together before their worlds changed forever. I wish for just a day she could be the Nani I remember from when I was a little girl, the Nani who taught me how to make homemade teacakes, how to two-step in her kitchen to an old George Jones tape, how to play Shanghai. The Nani with whom I spent countless days and nights, working in the garden, swimming in the pool, watching soap operas. The Nani who made me truly understand the word grandmother.
And if it meant I spent a day in her world, feeling what she feels, so be it. I would gladly give up a day of my life if it gave her another day to really live. I don't see my grandmother as much as I should. To be honest, it hurts me to see her. It hurts to see how much she's changed. And it hurts to entertain the faintest thoughts of the future and what they hold for my mother and for me... and even for my daughter someday.
Twenty-four hours. One whole day. In the grand scheme of things, it seems rather insignificant. How many days have I spent wasting away in front of the television or on the computer? But those 24 hours could mean so much to someone else, if provided with the opportunity to live and not just exist.
I pray that I can live each day like I only have 24 hours to experience it.
I never know when that just might be true.