If You Could Travel Back in History


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take a trip back in history and witness firsthand some historical events that you would love to experience? I have, and recently I was asked which events would I like to witness if I could make the journey back in time.  To narrow it down to a single event is impossible so I have included a few of my favorite moments in history. I have saved the most intriguing of all my travel wishes for last.

The first historical event I would like to visit would be Moses leading the Israelites through the Red Sea on dry ground. He tricked Pharoah and his soldiers into following him across the lakebed with walls of water being held up. I have often wondered what Pharaoh was thinking when he followed Moses into the middle of the lake without asking himself, “If Moses could make the waters open like they did then why couldn’t he close them while me and my men are in the middle?” I can imagine watching these soldiers jump out of their chariots and screaming, “Oh, crap!” as the waters closed over them.

My second choice would be to watch George Washington lead his ragtag, untrained military as they defeated the strongest military power in the world. I would love to witness his crossing of the Delaware River in the middle of winter and watch the courage and determination of his men to attack and defeat the mighty British on Christmas Day. What a strategic victory that was. I would love to feel the jubilation that his men must have felt that day. I would also enjoy listening to him share his wisdom with the citizens of this new country. P.S. I also think it would be fun to examine his false teeth (they weren’t made from wood but that’s another story).

The third and final trip I would like to experience before discussing my number one choice would be to visit the sixteenth president of the United States, a man whom I have admired and respected since I received the book, “The Lincoln Douglas Debates” for a Christmas present when I was a child. If I could go back to any event that he participated in it would be the Gettysburg Address. “Four score and seven years ago, our forefathers brought forth a new nation. …” Perhaps this is the most powerful speech ever given by a United States President. Its historical impact on the lives of millions of people is still felt today. I wish I could hear the comments and feel the hope from those most affected by this massive message.

The two times in history that I would consider my highest priority to experience would be to view the lives of my parents, Paul B Cazier and Lois Call. I would like to view their lives from their birth up until I was seven or eight years old. I would love to see my father milking cows as a little boy or driving a tractor or helping his father plow with a horse or the other chores experienced by a farm boy of the time. I would love to listen to the conversations he and his dad had while working in the field or the discipline he received when he messed up. I would like to experience some of the times when he had some free time and what he did and played. Was he a good student? Did he tease? What was his relationship to his brother and sisters? Did he ever get caught for taking a bottle of raspberries from the basement and going down the field to eat them? If he did, what kind of punishment did he receive? What was his relationship with Calvert Allred really like? What kind of mischief did they get into together? What was the worst trouble he ever experienced? What were his initial thoughts when he first noticed Mom all bandaged up after her seventh and final surgery?

One thing I would never want to witness was the burn or the physical suffering that my mother experienced when she was eighteen months old, but I would like to see how she fought to overcome the challenges brought on by this terrible accident. How did she handle the pain from the careless, unthinking children who made fun of her because of the scars she had from her burns. How did her mother help protect her and teach her to be strong and forgiving? What impact did her accident have on the rest of her family? Who were her friends and how did they treat her? What were her other challenges growing up? What were her thoughts about Dad when she first met him? What were her honest feelings about living in Afton, Wyoming? How did she cope with a son who presented so many challenges?

So many questions that I would like answered about my parents to help me gain a little more insight into why we were raised the way we were. Little things that occurred in their formative years that eventually impacted my life and how I turned out. These two wonderful people are so important and ingrained into my life and who I am today. It would be wonderful to know more about them and the lives they lived. 

Let’s share our stories with our children while we still can and let them ask questions, and let’s be truthful with our answers. Our children will benefit from knowing that their parents weren’t perfect, and we will benefit from the closeness created when we share ourselves. Perhaps one day we will hear them say, “Thanks Mom and Dad for what you have done for me and the impact you have had on my life and my family’s life.”

Happy Failing Forward,

Calvert Cazier

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