Reader Question #2

Posted: March 21, 2008 in Family, goals, Headspace, Journal, meme

Obviously I am not answering these in the order in which they were received. Nivlak requested the following entry topic:

If you had a time machine what three things would you go back and change and what three things would you make happen for the future.

So. If I had the ability to go back in time:

  1. I would not have married my ex.
  2. I would have finished college right out of high school.
  3. I would have lived at home with Grandma until her passing.

The first one’s pretty easy – the only good thing that came out of my relationship with my ex was moving to Arizona so I could meet Calvin. That, and learning to balance the checkbook. So to say I would not have married my ex, is to assume that I would have wound up in Arizona some other way to meet Calvin. Calvin and I = meant to be. My ex and I = heap big whopping mistake from hell. So if some deity came to me and said that there was no other way to meet Calvin but to be married to this other bozo for six years, well, I still would have done it. Otherwise? NOT.

The second one stems from my frustration with how many years it’s taking to finalize my degree. Part of it is my own lazy fault, part of it is AcronymCo’s fault for changing the tuition reimbursement rules. There are times when I wish that I had had the traditional “college experience” with dorm living and all night studying and roommates and toga parties (“Boon, I anticipate a deeply religious experience.”) Then I reflect upon my lack of outstanding student loans, and it cheers me.

The third one is a struggle. There is still a lot of guilt inside me about how Grandma passed. Oh, not that it was shady or suspicious or anything like that. No, I just know, based on multiple conversations with my Grandmother over the years, that she wanted to die at home, dignified in her own bed. Instead she had a series of strokes, developed dementia, got shuffled around to various nursing homes, and ended up in an “end-care” home hopped up on ever-increasing dosages of Morphine, until she finally passed. If I had been there when she had her original strokes, she wouldn’t have lied in bed for a couple of days (we think) before a neighbor checked on her, saw her through the window, and called me (three thousand miles away) to ask permission to break into the house when Grandma wouldn’t stir or answer the door. THAT is a suck feeling, that knowledge that I was so far away and couldn’t do anything. If I had been there, I could have gotten her help much more quickly. The strokes wouldn’t have caused so much damage. I could have cared for her in her own home, and maybe she would have been more there, more herself, up to her final days. A lot of “what if’s” and “if only’s”, but there it is.

Now, if I had the ability I would guarantee the following for the future:

  1. Find out which oh-my-God winning stock to invest in so that by the time Calvin and I are ready to retire, we’re millionaires.
  2. Because of the aforementioned money, moving back to Maine at some point would be guaranteed.
  3. Also because of the aforementioned money, we can ensure that Michael and Marie would be able to have nice homes and college educations, we would be able to secure our extended family member’s futures (pay off bills for them, etc.), and we would be able to spoil our friends rotten.

There is, of course, the whole “world peace” and “solve world hunger” issues that I would like to help out on. So any of those three goals might be circumvented if I could figure out how to secure these things for the future. Bigger minds than mine have tried and failed, so I stuck with the shallow, personal wishes for the future.

These things also apply if I find out that Calvin and I are, you know, alive in the future. If I find out otherwise and it’s because we drank too much or partied too hard or ate too much bacon or sucked in too much second hand smoke or was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got ourselves kilt, well, I would do things in the present to change that future.

Great question!  I still welcome any other suggestions for entry topics, and will answer the others that have already been posted probably by the end of the weekend.

  1. Jayne says:

    Oh the saddest thing is to read about your grandma because I know from experience that it’s the biggest subject of regret and ‘what ifs’. I persuaded my Dad to go into hospital for a blood transfusion (as I was told) ‘just to give hime a boost’. At that time he could still speak to me. I knew he was very ill but my sense was that he had at least weeks to live. Twenty four hours later, in hospital, we simply couldn’t understand what he was saying any more and I could almost see him slipping away minute by minute. He never did come out of there, passing away just days later. It was almost as if I had precipitated his death by persuading him to go in. I know my Dad so well and hospital is *not* what he would have wanted either. I too just so wish he’d been able to stay home and pass away peacefully in his own space.
    It’s all hindsight though isn’t it? If only we had a crystal ball.

    By the way … your comments about making oodles of money on the stock exchange … Did you know that a study by, I think, Boston University has said that money *can* buy you money? They found that people are happiest when able to financially help friends and family and give to charity. If you ever have any hot stock market tips, do please share them and I will do likewise. 🙂

  2. Laura says:

    Jayne – I’m so sorry for the experience you had with your dad. It’s so hard to see them reduced to what they were before they died, when, at least in my experience with Grandma, she was always a pillar of strength and the voice of reason.

    I do understand the phenomena of money buying money, which is why we have so little of it. 😀 BUT! If I come across a reliable stock or get rich quick scheme, I’ll be sure to share it with you!

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