preferablysomethingspecific said: If you could give any one deceased person a chance to come back to life for one day, who would you choose and why? Would it be a person close to you who passed on recently, or a historical figure who might be able to offer a unique solution to current problems? Bonus: where would this person go on his/her day trip back to life?
OK I am finally finally FINALLY ready to answer this question. I swear, it was about 60% serious consideration that lead to my slowness, but it doesn’t matter because I finally feel really, really good about the answer. And it’s bending the rules a little because it’s 6 people, but I want to meet them all for the same reason.
So initially I thought of my grandparents, and how I never consciously met any of them and how lovely it would be to know the wonderful women who raised six children (both grandmas!), but somehow I felt like that wasn’t quite the right answer- I am happy to know my parents’ stories about my grandparents, and as much as I wish I had known their parents personally, I feel like this power could be used in more interesting ways. My answer has a tiny back story though.
So in 1810 my great, great, great grandparents emigrated to the United States from Germany, and immediately succombed to cholera (apparently it was the hottest disease to “succomb to” at this time). Which in theory should mean that I’m dead, right? But NO! They had six kids between the ages of 2 and 13 (lots of kids in a short time span is a hot thing in my family, to this day) and the kids were immediately quarantined in an empty shack in the town of Freeport, IL, where they lived. The only reason they didn’t kick it as well is that some charitable townspeople slipped some food under the door to the children every day- and every last one of them survived! One of the kids, John, then grew up to become a Brewer in Wisconsin, and for the next two generations brewing was the Gund family “thang.” And I am his great great granddaughter!
But the point is, I remember my dad telling me this story when I was fairly young, and I became kind of obsessed with these kids. My sibs and I are all really close in age and post-parents-divorce we all began to operate as our own little gang. I also remember my sister and I reading the Boxcar Children series (the story about four orphaned siblings who decide to live in a boxcar together rather than risk being separated in whatever foster care system existed in magical-children’s-book-land). I think I melded the two stories in my mind (the true and the literary) and identified really strongly with them. I mean, yeah, I had parents who loved me, but they were so self-absorbed in the divorce stuff (and I can’t really blame them) that between the post-divorce custody shuffling (we switched houses every other week) and the sibling constancy, in my mind we were our own little boxcar children, the kids who “made it”, just like the poor 6 kiddos orphaned by cholera back in the 1840s. In middle school my sister and I used to talk about the four of us getting our own place and making our parents come visit US, rather than us being forced to go back and forth between THEM. We pretty much wanted a boxcar? Maybe a tiny cholera-quarantine shack? I dunno.
So my answer is, I would absolutely love to meet those kids, back when they were younger and struggling with the loss, alone in that shack. It reinforces my feeling that through childhood difficulty, siblings are the way to make it. Plus, not to toot my own genetic-horn, but I bet those kids were really freaking cute. I just want to snuggle up with them in their sad little cold shack in illinois and read them a bedtime story.
I guess if I could get them to come back to this day and age, I would take them all out for ice cream, my treat (duh) and we would go to the river and eat our cones and tell stories until it got dark. Then I would find them a nice place to stay and tuck them into bed and read them stories until they couldn’t keep their little eyes open and give them each a kiss goodnight.
OK, new question coming…NOW!