If things had been done differently, if decisions had been reversed, if steps had or had not been taken, if things had or had not happened, if life were different, then this would have been my Goldie's 20th birthday.But our present sight isn't perfect, and mistakes were made, by a number of people, and she died.
Having sat through her inquest it seems pretty clear that although we know what mistakes were made, we're not going to know who made them. I'm ok with that - blame doesn't bring her back, and hopefully shame prevents it happening again. I am confident that none of the mistakes were made maliciously and that everyone working with Goldie genuinely believed themselves to be doing the right thing by her.
But for all that, the fact remains that she isn't here to eat the pizza, crumble the cake and screech at the singing. She isn't here to be totally underwhelmed by whatever ideas we had to celebrate her birthday, she isn't here to accept all the Christmas celebrations as one big extended birthday party, and she isn't here to spurn anything new in favour of her old favourites.
She didn't make her 20 20. Or perhaps she did, and perhaps she's having the most marvellous party of all, together with all her little friends who have joined her this year. Selfishly though, I would prefer it if she were here for me to get frustrated with her for taking so little interest in the procedings and for attempting to eat the (lit) candle.
"We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright. We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us. " Corinthians 13.12.
Bring it on.