7.6.11

Aren't They Lovely?

What would you need to know about someone to switch places with them for a day?  The great thing about the loss of privacy in the past 40 years is so much is known about so many people that there is not a single person I would want to switch places with today.  In all of history is a different matter entirely.

The sixth day of the 30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge delves into the question, but doesn't limit the answer to someone alive today.  In case you missed any, the last three challenges were:

4.A picture of your favorite night - Check
5.A picture of your favorite memory - Check
6.A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day - This is it

It's a good thing this is my Prose-Instead-of-Picture Challenge.  There are two people I'd love to switch places with for a day.  The problem is no picture exists of either of which I'm aware.

The first would be my 11th great-grandmother, Mary Horsemanden Byrd.  She was only two years older than I am now when she died on November 9, 1699.  To know how people lived back then, the mundane stuff, the boring!  How exciting that would be!  Yes, it's official.  I am weird.  I get excited over boring details like what she ate for breakfast or drank with supper or how she put her children to bed at night.  Why her and not any of my other ancestors?  With her, things are tangible.  I've walked the banks of the river that she called home, put flowers on her grave, read her husband's diary.  For someone 400 years gone, she has a real presence in my life.

The other person from history to switch places with?  Her presence in my life has lingered as a question of who she was and what motivated a simple act of kindness.  Her name is unknown to me.  As is the town she lived in or when she was born or whether she had children.  All that is known to me is that on December 24, 1944, she offered an American soldier supper and took him to church.  From old memories, I feel certain she was married and might have had children.  But those stories weren't recorded except as tales told at my childhood bedside.  For one day (Christmas Eve of 1944) I would like to be that woman in the French countryside.  The one who offered hospitality to my daddy.

[Title taken from this.]

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