If only Rene Kink had kicked a goal instead of a point after the siren at half time in the 1977 Grand Final Collingwood might have been too far ahead for North Melbourne to catch up in the second half.
If only Phil Carman had not telegraphed his intention of chasing and hitting Michael Tuck during the last quarter of the second semi he would have been able to play in the Grand Final. But he did telegraph his intentions and he ran after Michael Tuck and hit him and was therefore reported.
These are two personal reminisces that are If Only moments that come to mind.
If only Mozart had not died when he was 35 and had lived until he was 60 or 65 what wonderful music we would have to listen to. Hayden said when he learned that Mozart had died that we would not see his like again for 200 years. Actually he was wrong. We have not seen his like in 300 years and are not likely to see his like in 400 or 500 years. Mozart was a great composer who improved as he got older. It is arguable that his later compositions were better than his earlier compositions. What a pity we missed out on his work after he was aged 35.
Of course all our lives are littered with If Only moments.
In my 20's I travelled to work by tram. Every morning on this tram was an attractive young girl who got on at the same stop as I did and always sat down the back of the tram. I often looked at her with interest. If only I had summoned up enough courage to approach her my life might have been different. But this is a hypothetical If Only and only subject to speculation.
The big If Only that has occurred in my life was something completely out of my control. When I was 14 my family fostered a 2 year old child who transformed our life. We were not a particularly dysfunctional family but it is fair to say that there were always pockets of unhappiness affecting all members. We did not enjoy each others company and were dominated by a mother who felt women always got an unfair deal. She would have preferred to be a man with men's rights. This little girl shamed us into being happy. My mother forgot about being unhappy and recognised the goodness inside this little girl. All other members of the family fell in love with her. It is fair to say that she affected us all in a positive way. She made us all happy.
The If Only comes with this child's later life. We made desultory inquiries about adoption but her mother wanted her back again. She went to live in Wagga and we never saw her again. Fast forward 50 years and miraculously I was able to track her down. Unfortunately her life had been one long series of tragedies. She had never lived for any length of time with her mother and amazingly had, for a time in her teens, even lived in Wangaratta. While in Wangaratta she was charged with being in need of care and attention, spending time in goal after having run away from the Aunt with whom she was living at the time. This was only one of many terrible things that happened to her.
If Only we had known her whereabouts we might have been able to offer her some comfort. If only we had been able to keep in touch we might have been able to bring some stability to her life. If only we knew what was happening.
To my mind the big If Only in life concerns If Only people had voted differently. If only 3 or 4 people had changed their vote at various times our country would be different. We can only speculate how different Australia might be if the elections of 1966, 1975 and 2019 had turned out differently. There is no doubt that Australia would be a better place. From time to time changes are required and can only come through a change of government.
If Only people could overcame their prejudices and were able to vote differently.
History is littered with If Only situations.