Yes, I nearly didn’t exist.

Three separate incidents from the past could have made my birth an impossibility.

One incident involved something that happened to a grandmother . One involved a decision made by a grandfather. The other involved the timing of a voyage. Had any one of these situations turned out differently, it would have meant I would not be here to tell about them.

I nearly didn't exist

Grandma and Grandad Stephenson

I don’t know the story around this particular incident, but I remember being told years ago that my grandmother, when she was young, was thought to have died. She was in her coffin when suddenly she opened her eyes. That was before the days of embalming in England. It’s scary to think of someone being buried alive. How horrible had she gained consciousness after being interred. I wouldn’t even want to imagine what it would be like. But fortunately the coffin lid was still open. Although it must have been a little disconcerting to the family and others standing around the coffin, I’m certainly grateful to the Lord that He had other plans for her that involved me all these years later. Otherwise I wouldn’t even exist today.

I nearly didn't exist

The Usher Family

Next, a decision made by my grandfather to emigrate. Initially he had chosen to take his wife and daughter  to Australia. Now that would certainly have meant I would not have existed had he followed through with that plan since my mother met my father here in Canada. But at the last minute my grandfather spoke with a friend who was coming to Canada and decided to accompany him. Again, I’m so thankful that his plans were changed. He came to Canada, to Brantford Ontario, and prepared to bring my grandmother and their baby daughter (my mother’s sister) here.

Then my father’s family decided to come to Canada in 1912. My father was between 7 and 8 years old. They were booked on a ship which sailed either just before or just after the Titanic. And we all know what happened to that ship. Had they been booked on it I would not have existed. So close. But the Lord obviously had a reason for me to be born, to exist. He has a plan and I’m grateful that He spared my family. They came to Hamilton Ontario but later moved to Brantford.

The postcard below is one my grandfather Usher sent from Canada to my grandmother who was still in England. The date on the back, 1908, is visible in the top right corner. The writing, though faded, is still visible: Dear Ada this is an Indian Postcard From Your Jess.

I nearly didn't exist

Indian Postcard

I nearly didn't exist

Back of Postcard

Everything was being orchestrated for my parents to meet on a blind date at a mutual friend’s home. I suppose you could say that this was a forth incident that, had one decided not to go to that party, would have meant I would not exist today.

I nearly didn't exist

My Parents' Wedding

To the left is a photo of my parents’ wedding. This was again part of the Lord’s orchestration in the creation of my life in 1945, 13 years after they were married. And that is the history of how I came to exist. And as I look back on my own life I can see how the Lord has orchestrated it just as carefully and intricately as my ancestors’ lives. One decision here, one incident there and my life could have been drastically different than it turned out to be. We may wonder “what if” but I’m satisfied that I am what the Lord wants me to be (except for some adjustments here and there) and exactly where He wants me to be. Though there was a great possibility that I may not have existed, there was an even greater one that I was meant to exist.

And thus ends my story for today. I hope you have enjoyed it. Please leave a comment before you leave. And do drop by again.



Here we are at my 3rd ‘peeking’ experience.

I’m just wondering if this tendency for peeking has anything to do with my mother playing peek-a-boo with me when I was a baby. Hmm.

Life in Reverse: Peeking into my Early Years Part 3

That's me in the lower right corner

This time I was a little older and we had moved to another house. No more holes in the floor. No more second floor, in fact.

I would have been 9 or 10. Bedtime was 8:00, and I had been there for awhile. My bedroom was off the living room and, because of shortage of space, the regular doors had been removed from both bedrooms and replaced with folding doors.

One night there was a kids’ movie on TV. But it didn’t start until after my bedtime. Why do they do that, anyway? I did so want to see that movie. Funny thing, my father was never one to watch movies, but he did turn the dial to this one. (That was long before remote controls. You actually had to get up out of your chair and turn a dial.)

The movie was Alice in Wonderland. The year, 1955. My peeking experience was expanding. I had cracked open the folding door just far enough so I could see and, hopefully, not be seen. I got away with it for awhile, but I was finally caught peeking.  I cannot remember if I was allowed to come out and watch the rest of the movie after I was caught, but I think perhaps I was.

What I do remember is my mother later making fun of me to some of her friends–in front of me. I was so embarrassed about my peeking. I never tried that experiment again.

Click here to hear a song from the movie.

I did do a little peeking after that, and I felt so bad. I didn’t intend to see my Christmas present on the shelf in my mother’s closet. I was looking for something else. I never did tell her that I had seen it.

If you have never read Alice in Wonderland, you can read it free. For those of you familiar with the book and/or the movie (whichever version), I hope you enjoyed the Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum song in the video. If you would like to watch the 1983 Broadway retelling of the 1932 version, check it out here.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment. Perhaps you could tell me about your memories of Alice in Wonderland.

Have a super day.

Enhanced by Zemanta


Now you know the story of how I started peeking.

Well, that wasn’t the only time I did a little peeking.

Life in Reverse: Peeking into my Early Years Part 2I suppose I would have been about the same age as my  experience peeking down the knothole.

Probably around 4 years old. It was New Year’s Eve. The neighbors, at least some of them, usually came to our house for a party. Not a rowdy party, mind you. Most of the neighbors were older people. My dad was by then nearing his mid-forties, my mother just past the middle thirties.

Of course, I was too young to stay up for the party. But that night I couldn’t get to sleep. I wanted to be a part of the fun. So I took to peeking again. This time the hole was much larger. This was where a stovepipe used to be to help heat the second floor of our house. I guess that was when we used the wood stove in the kitchen. By then we heated with an acme stove in the living room.  But there was that hole, just made for peeking, one that I could actually see through.

Whenever my mother came into the kitchen, just below my peeking place, I would whisper, “Mommy!” Naturally she couldn’t hear me. But I was afraid to speak any louder. I have no idea why. I just kept peeking down that hole and hoping.

Finally, well past midnight, everyone had gone home. It was then that my mother discovered my peeking. It was then, too, that I discovered that she would have let me come down, at least for awhile, had she known I was there. Too late! The party was over. Again my peeking had done me no good. The knothole was full of darkness; the stovepipe hole was full of light. But my peeking was a failure in both cases. I wonder if there’s a lesson to be learned here? 🙂

Please stay tuned for my next adventure in peeking. I was a little older then, but probably not much wiser. Watch for “Life in Reverse: Peeking into my Early Years – Part 3”

I hope you have enjoyed my musings. I do appreciate your visit and I hope you will leave a comment below. Do drop by again. And if you have a few minutes, please visit my other site. Have a super week.