Did you ever wonder what your life would be like if just a few things had been different? I frequently do and I’ll bet Elvis did too. In fact, I’m sure looking back he knew fate entered through the front door and introduced himself more times than he could count. But what if Elvis had never opened the door? As long as we are welcoming and take the time to make acquaintances, opportunities can become realities. Dreams can come true.

If the entrance is blocked by clouded judgment or dishonesty, the drapes drawn and the mind closed to even a hint of daylight, then darkness covers the light. It can be all we know until we know better. In my youth, a dark, dank, and dreary home was natural. Curtains closed and like Elvis, foil covered a select few windows. I never questioned it until I was older and learned not all homes were the same way. The answer I received when I did ask was the light hurt my mother’s eyes or it kept the house cooler and so electric bills were less, depending on the season. Neither reason provided just cause to be bathed in dreariness on a daily basis. I suspect my mother’s frequent bouts with depression played a part. I know mine can at times and I have to purposely push them away to let the light twinkle within.

The cards we are handed can make way for the fate we later embrace, or the fate that embraces us.  Often it’s up to us to make our own arrangements to entice fate in, throwing open wide the entry to purposely make the room comfortable and inviting.

Elvis Presley’s time, place and circumstances he was born into laid his fate’s professional foundation. That cornerstone of talent and drive was deep within him, same as a Tupelo childhood and a Memphis coming of age. He didn’t plan it or even give it a second thought. None was under his direction, especially the world’s post war readinesses to embrace a new societal shift of music, dress and ambition. In the 1950’s pre-adults suddenly became known as teens, a whole new subculture with thoughts and ideas and more importantly, buying power. He didn’t know better until he did, nor did they.

His physical benchmarks were out of his control, inherited health issues unknown and not understood for the time frame, set a course too. The limitations blocking some openings make it easy to speculate what if?  Connections set in place generations ago followed a path. The past influences the future. Just as what if he had never walked into 706 Union St. or had never served in the Army or if Gladys had lived or if Parker had not managed him. How different the outcome?

More importantly, what if he had been physically healthy, not needing excess medication, not in constant pain, not suffering from mystery (at the time) ailments? That “what if” could have been very positive. And perhaps the outcome exceedingly different, with him standing on the steps of his beloved Graceland, a huge smile on that beautiful mature face, and a look of happiness and thankfulness as he waves to the large crowd of fans and admirers before him, all singing in person and in unison, a very robust and rousing heartfelt chorus of “Happy 88th Birthday dear Elvis.” Imagine.

Just as I didn’t realize homes were supposed to be dark and solemn, the fact is it played a part. As an adult and a parent, I made sure the opposite was the norm, light and airy. Elvis left us early, too soon, and he is greatly missed. But the path he paved, the opportunities he did grasp and the choices he did have the ability to take, all make up the total package he presented. 

It would be phenomenal had things been different but they weren’t. That’s true of many life events we wish had a different outcome. Instead of half empty and what we don’t have, I chose to be grateful for that which we were given. In the case of Presley, instead of arguments over girlfriends and songs and films and management and the closeness of cohorts, we are blessed with all we do know, all that which is truly important. I cannot imagine a life without Elvis, his voice, his personality, his countenance and his influence. 

Sadly, he never knew how loved he was worldwide, but we know. He never knew the people he saved metaphorically, the hearts he soothes, the calm and steady he brings day in and day out, the joy he still spreads.  All because a 19 year old kid walked into a recording studio on his lunch break, dreaming of making the world better for those closest to him that he loved – but never imaging how far that love would someday reach.

Did ya ever ….  Happy Birthday our darling Elvis!