So, Timeless is starting to explore this idea that if you know something bad will happen in the future, could you change or do something different in the past that could avoid the bad thing from happening?? In last week’s episode, they kidnap a young JFK and bring him to the future. When they take him back to his timeline, Rufus tells him to avoid Dallas, TX on November 22, 1963, which is when and where he gets assassinated when he’s president. So, when they return to 2018 after taking JFK back to 1934, Rufus asked if JFK is still alive, and Agent Christopher says, “What are you talking about?! He was assassinated.” Rufus says, “But I told him to avoid Dallas on November 22, 1963.” Then agent Christopher says, “He was assassinated in Austin.” So, ultimately, the show is saying that you can’t escape your fate, even if you know the future and try to change or do something different to avoid it. I think about this a lot, even before I watched this episode of Timeless. Ever since you passed, I always wonder what we could have done differently?! Would doing one thing versus another change your fate?? Or would you still die but from a different reason than a motorcycle accident?? Was there anything we could have done differently to escape our fate? Or was it written in the stars, and there was nothing we could have done differently to change the outcome?! We can rewrite the story as many times as we want, but the ending will never change. You don’t know how many times I’ve played everything over and over again in my head and asked myself, “What if we did this instead of that? Would it change anything?” Whenever I watch shows like Timeless or think about shows like The Flash or the Jet Li movie The One, I feel so helpless and frustrated that I can’t travel back in time to save your life or go to a different earth where our ending can be different. You don’t know how many times I’ve sit alone in our empty house trying to figure out how I can travel back in time to save you or how I can travel to a different Earth where we can start all over again but with a different ending or how much I wish I can go back in time and stay frozen and never move forward to the day you died; let it be January 6th forever. Let us sit on the sofa in our living room and make fun of each other while we are watching TV forever.
What if we made different decisions or life happened differently, would we still have met? For instance, your mom mentioned in passing that you were qualifying for the Olympics in track and field but suffered an injury that ruined your career. (I never knew this about you until your mom said something about it. I remember being shocked when I heard the story. I guess you were that good, huh!?!) What if you didn’t pull your hamstring, would you have gone to the Olympics? What if you did make it to the Olympics and won?! What if you focused on playing football instead of running track in high school? How would your life be different?! I remember you saying that if you focused on playing football instead of running track, you might have made it to the pros (whether this is true or not, I don’t know, but I guess I just have to take your word for it). When you told me this, I remember saying to you, “If that was the case, we would never have met and fallen in love!” But you said, “No, we would still meet and fall in love.” I said, “No, we wouldn’t?! I wouldn’t date you if you were a pro football player. I wouldn’t be able to put up with your intensive schedule and the groupies!!” You just laughed at me and said, “SY, we still would have met, and you would date me, even if I was pro baller.” I said, “Whatever!?! You probably wouldn’t even know I existed.”
For me, after college, the plan was always business school, but after studying abroad and visiting Cambodia, my birthplace, during my last year in college, I had an epiphany and decided to pursue a masters in international development or public policy instead of business. I got accepted to UCLA’s public policy program and UCSD’s international relations program. I was planning to go to UCLA (since I was alreadying living in LA at the time and why not go to my alma mater for grad school also?!), but I ended up getting a full scholarship to UCSD, so at the last minute, I decided to go to UCSD instead of UCLA. I was going to drop out after the first quarter since I didn’t like the program, but I decided to stay for one more quarter before making any rash decisions. After the second quarter, it was a no brainer to just finish the year, since it was just another 11 weeks including finals. Since I was already halfway through the program, what’s another year?! And that’s when I met you; the first quarter of my 2nd year at UCSD. What if I went to business school or UCLA or dropped out that first quarter at UCSD? Would my life be different? Would we still meet?
What if I stuck to my guns and didn’t go out that night because I wasn’t interested in meeting a Jerry Rice look-alike?! What if your work didn’t send you to San Diego for a training?? What if your work did send you to the training but it wasn’t with DU?? Would we still have met and fallen in love? I remember asking you, “What if we made different decisions or things happened differently in life, would we still meet each other and fallen in love?” You would always say, “Yes, we would still meet and fall in love because we’re meant to be together.” I would laugh at you and say, “How do you know?!” You would say, “I just know.” Then I would say, “You know, if things didn’t happen the way they did, there’s no way our paths would have crossed.” Then you would say, “SY, we still would have met.” I would say, “No, we wouldn’t!?!” But, you always believed, that no matter what, we still would have met and fallen love, even if you were a pro baller. (I’m most definitely inclined to believe that you would be with some supermodel and not me if you were a pro baller!)
When I look back at all the things that had to happen in order for us to meet, I’m always amazed that we actually met and fell in love. That a hot jock like you could ever fall for a nerd like me. But believing that we would meet and fall in love no matter what is the same as saying we can’t escape or avoid our ending either. So, if I had a time machine, where would I go back to? To where I try to save your life or to stop us from meeting if I know that no matter what our ending will never change? Would I rather not have met and fallen in love with you or would I still want to meet and fall in love with you if I know that no matter what, you will always leave me a young widow. I’ve thought about this a lot, and I look back at who I was before I met you and who I am now after meeting you. What I’ve concluded is that I would rather be the person I am today, even if I can never change our ending and I lose you every time. I will always choose you.
I may not be the little girl who’s dreamt of her wedding since she was three years old, but I was always the little girl who always wondered what her future husband was doing and whether he was thinking of me like I was thinking of him. Yup, you never knew that about me, right?! You’re probably thinking, “What?! Who is this SY and what have you done with my wife?!" But it’s true, I was a hopeless romantic and you didn’t even know it! Yes, I know, I hide it well. Anyways Babe, I just wanted to let you know that you were everything and more I could ever hope and wish for in a husband. (Okay, there are a few things about you that I could do without, but that’s not what we are discussing now!! 😝😆)
P.S. I’ve tried to purposefully forget to wear my wedding ring on multiple occasions after I take it off when I'm showering, but I haven't been successful. I guess I’ve grown comfortable in my little white lie.
A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.