Some time ago, I was asked what day I would change, if I could go back in time and change just one – ONLY one – day in my life.
I was tempted to say I would change the day I was born – and make it not happen. But that’s melodramatic and negative… Instead I would go back to a different day – another one I don’t remember, but one I believe had a profound impact on my life.
I would return to October 1968 and ensure my six week old baby brother did not die.
That instead of being found dead and cold and blue in his cot after being lovingly put down for an afternoon nap, he would wake healthy and plump and red-faced, crying for a feed and waiting for a cuddle.
That instead of my father spending 40 minutes attempting to resuscitate his dead newborn son, he would instead pick him up, hug him and pass him to my mother for a nappy change. Because dads didn’t like to change nappies in the sixties.
That instead of my mother calling grandma to say, “He’s dead. I’ve killed my baby!” She would be whining about the exhaustion of raising two young children and bemoaning my over enthusiastic hugs and kisses bestowed upon my new little brother, while secretly thinking her own two children were the most beautiful, clever, perfect little humans to have ever graced this earth.
That instead of cot death mysteriously taking a fat, healthy, loved and nurtured baby, it simply went away and left me with my brother and with my family whole and unbroken.