"Old Blue Eyes" Frank Sinatra sang a song about; "Regrets, I had a few.." and he was right. I have a number of regrets that I can now admit. When you are young, healthy, and death is not a thought you have, you think that you are "bullet proof". Don't believe me? Look at the list of Medal of Honor awards. All of them, or most of them are under 21! Why, they think that grenade won't hurt them. When I was young, and I injured myself on the ship, I rubbed it with my dirty rag and kept on going! I had a number of concussions on the ship that I never told the "Doc" about. Why, I was supposed to be tough. Now, I am paying for that toughness. Now, when I get a cut, I treat it properly so that I do not get an infection. I am NOT "bullet proof" and I know it! That was a tough truth to swallow, but I have indeed swallowed it, bitter as it was.
I have regrets about my Navy career that I have discussed at length in my other blog; "The Master Chief's Lair". But one that I only admitted to myself, until now, is that I regret retiring at 20 years of service! Yes, I probably made more money the way things turned out, but left the career I loved. I let my ego get in the way of my judgement. My advice to all of you who are young, NEVER listen to your ego! In every way, it will lead you down the wrong path, and you can't come back!
I regret that I wasted money on houses, cars, booze, guns, trucks, and other foolish endeavors. Not because I need the money, but because it could have gone for good instead of foolishness.
I tried to be a good husband and a good father. I tried to provide a secure life for my family, but truthfully, I could have done better. It is the truth! But, most of us probably have this regret if we are honest. Just the same, at this point in my life, it bothers me.
There are things I wanted to do, like drive a NASCAR race car at a driving school. My Neurologists says I can't do that now. And my wife is enforcing that rule. There are places I wanted to see that I will never see. Why, because now, I don't have the desire to get out of bed, well enough take a trip across country.
I spend way to much time thinking about the "What Ifs" of my past, but the past is what I think of all day and those memories are beginning to fade also. LBD and any Dementia is a cruel disease because it robs you of today and imprisons you in yesterday. You seek comfort, not adventure. The known instead of the unknown. Yes, I like the feeling of routine, comfort, and things known. But I still long, every once in a while to live life on the edge. But, i know that I would fall off now.
One other thought. I am full of "Sea Stories" that I still love to tell. But, no one really wants to hear them. I write them in the other blog and many folks read that blog. But, people around me grow weary of my "sea stories". I don't know if it is because I am a dinosaur or because they never experienced what I did and they think I am not telling the truth. Just rantings of an old man. Then again, maybe most people today are not interested in a story about a young First Class Gunner's Mate, throwing up a stomach full of San Miguel and fried rice in a Captains from yard in Navy housing in Subic!