Sometimes I believe that by my spending precious time chasing what ifs from the past, I loose sight of the present. But then what is the purpose of my journaling for the past forty years?
The What If that looms over my head most often, a What If that is never far from mind is What would my life be like if my mom had lived. Maybe by surviving a heart attack at fifty was a wake-up call. Maybe she would have learned to lean on other things for support rather than a bottle. Maybe Barbara wouldn’t have been given the huge burden of taking care of her younger sisters as well as her mother.
I probably would not have been given a hockey stick and a pair of skates. Emergency intervention wouldn’t have been necessary.
Maybe I wouldn’t have learned to play soccer. Without that fateful day in 1988, my Wilm’s Kidney Cancer wouldn’t have been discovered, and as a result, would it have killed me later on, spreading to my left kidney or my brain?
What if the cancer was diagnosed in 1965 when statistics of survival wasn’t so great. Maybe my death could have been my mom’s wake-up call. Afterall, her clutch included a 15, 11, and 9-year-old. Of course, the loss of her precious baby might have caused to crawl deeper into that bottle. Was she a Scotch drinker like my father? I didn’t even know she was an alcoholic until a few years after her death. The secret got spilled while feuding with my father and hurtful words were thrown at each other. What if I never said or even felt that I had wished he had died instead of my mom. Chances are my dad had parallel thoughts.
If I hadn’t been introduced to sports to rescue this drowning pup, would I have gone to Ithaca College to be a gym teacher and coach? Better yet, What if I weren’t on drugs when I played lacrosse on that fateful day? Maybe I would not have ripped up my knee in my first collegiate lacrosse game. My mindset was always to do anything with my body to prevent a goal, so I am thinking this What If would still be in the books. Being told at nineteen that my knee was toast when sports was my entire world. Maybe if my mother was still alive in 1979, my path would have been so different, though I suppose I would not have gone four hundred miles from my mom, especially if 77 Pinecroft hadn’t been sold out from under me. At least my dad gave me his forwarding address while I was at college.
I wouldn’t be in this bath tub, living in a beautiful dome. I wouldn’t be married to my supportive wife. So many wouldn’ts would not have happened, cancelling out the woulds.
Tonight as I get ready to head out to bowling, I think about the great things and great people, I wouldn’t have experienced if I hadn’t run away from home, driving the three thousand miles away to try to escape my life as if I could get away from the bad things and bad decisions instead of embracing them and just move on.