I have memories of my Dad and the frustrations he felt when my Mom was dieing of cancer. He told me that when he was young he left home and was working his way to California. He started in Allentown, Pa and then went to Buffalo, New York. From there he went to Cleveland, Ohio. That is where he met the love of his life and he never left there. He always wanted to see Alaska. But he never did. Those unfulfilled dreams always came out as regrets when he was sad or depressed.
When Dad was feeling his Wheaties, he wanted to go back to Buffalo to relive his "Wild" days. Those were the days of Prohibition and the "Speak Easies". He used to tell me how fast he could drive to Buffalo from Cleveland. Of course, he never did that either. But I can still hear Dad's booming voice saying; "Let's go to Buffalo Donnie!" We should have gone.
Dad should have gone to Alaska too. But the responsibilities of family prevented all of those dreams from being realized. I never understood that until recently. I have my regrets too. Not of places I wanted to see but the life style I wanted to live. I know I have said this before, but my concrete house on 40 acres is always in my mind. A dream I will never fulfill. But a constant dream just the same. Just like Dad's dreams of Alaska and Buffalo. Again, I have traveled the world and done things most men only dream of. Dangerous, exciting, things that great stories come from. And a few stupid things that also make the story line. But there are still those things I wanted to do, that just never happened.
As time passes, we become our parents! I now understand Dad's regrets. And I understand why he chose to never fulfill them. Responsibility, love, family, are all powerful influences on a Man's dreams. What we want as young men, we seldom realize. For instance, I still do not have a Corvette. Probably never will. But the dream lives, along with my survivalist life style dream.
It does not matter how much you accomplished or how successful you were. There will always be those things that you wanted to do, that there was just never time or money for. Those are the memories that fill you thoughts as you see your life drawing to a close. I know that now and that understanding actually comforts me. It is good to understand the mysteries of the past.