Every April 15 a tragedy occurs. No, no, not taxes! Although those are no fun either. In this case, I mean the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. I am a huge Titanic buff and have been ever since I discovered the condensed story in a Reader’s Digest magazine when I was a little girl.
When I first saw my home, I was struck by how some of its features looked as if they were from the same era of the Titanic. I confess to being disappointed to discover it had been built in 1913, one year after the sinking. I would have liked to have been living in something as old as the Titanic itself.
Perhaps it was discussed as the home was built! I like to think about things like that: how many times has the word “Titanic” been repeated in this house over the past 101 years by people other than myself? If Daisy the kitchen maid from Downton Abbey – which also starts with the sinking of the Titanic – were here, you can bet it would have been mentioned plenty, as she seems to have been as fascinated with it as I am.
I wish I could get these side by side, but I can’t…
Part of the reason is that there are so many “If Onlys.”
If only the binoculars hadn’t been misplaced, the lookouts might have spotted the iceberg in time and missed it (at first they thought they had, so it was close. Just a few seconds earlier would have made a huge difference).
Or if only they had spotted it a few moments later and run straight into it instead. This would actually have been better. Lives would have been lost, especially from the front of the ship, but the Titanic would have stayed afloat and a significantly greater number of lives would have been saved.
If only Captain Stanley Lord of the Californian hadn’t been such a tyrant that his crew were too afraid to awaken him properly. They were right there, they WERE the mystery ship that those in the Titanic lifeboats could see in the distance, and the Californian could have hurried to the site and saved nearly everyone aboard. Instead the crew watched as the white rocket signals of distress were shot off one by one.
The fact that it was a maiden voyage and Captain Smith’s last crossing before his retirement are also incredible.
The fact that an author named Morgan Robertson wrote a book entitled Futily about a huge ship called the Titan which was deemed unsinkable and carried an insufficient number of lifeboats. The Titan hits an iceberg and sinks on a voyage in the month of April, resulting in the death of almost everyone aboard. Futility was published fourteen years before the sinking of the Titanic. Incredible.
While I would never wish tragedy on anyone, the Titanic tragedy occurred and since it did, I’m grateful for the years of fascination it has given me.