Mostly on this site, I write about our son David.
This is about something else.
There was a time… I worked three jobs attended college full-time and had children with my wife. Seems so long ago.
Then, right after we bought a new house, I got sick. Multiple hospital visits sick. Transferring to other states in an air ambulance sick.
You know it’s bad when the medical team comes into your hospital room and says “we have no idea what is wrong with you, so we are shipping you to this other hospital. But before you go, we are having your wife bring all of your kids in so that you can say goodbye.”
Ten days later I was home with a diagnosis. In the time I was ill, I had lost almost a third of my body weight. Pretty scary.
Forward a few years, I am feeling great, taking my medicine like I am supposed to, decide to leave my stable corporate job and strike out on my own. We moved to a small town so I could do consulting, and we could live comfortably while I did so. I was also working on my PhD during this time.
Then I lost sight of who I was. I became obsessed with business and my degree. I lost my health again.
I changed doctors to one closer to home, he told me I was in remission, and could stop taking my meds. Wrong answer. Within a year, I would close my business, and nearly close my life.
I became a stay-at-home dad. Initially it was because, as a self-employed business person, it was easy for me to lock up and run to the school whenever they called because of David’s behavior. Then it got to where I was never at the store, because I was always with David at the school. After doing that full time, my health deteriorated. I had my first heart event shortly after Christmas. I was 39. When I was 40, I had a series of strokes and a couple more heart events.
All of a sudden, that PhD wasn’t so important anymore. In the last couple of years, I have developed more extensive health concerns, and as a result, I am considered fully disabled.
I would rather be working.
Do I have regrets? Yes, but none of them involve not working harder, or not completing my PhD.
Do I have regrets about David? No.
I guess, you could say, I don’t have any regrets. I would still rather be working, but I am alive, and I will continue reaching for life.
If I were to challenge people with something, it would be: “When you are reaching for life, do you come back empty handed, or are both hands full?” If you reach for life and don’t come back with a handful, maybe it is time to assess what is important to you.