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ADDICTED TO WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN

addicted

Someone addicted to the life they built with their loved ones, and their dog, instead of what could have been.

Some addictions have treatment. Not when you’re addicted to what could have been.

The lady in the image is a poster child for living dreams and sharing them.

From a country girl in south England to traveling the world, she collected the sort of memories usually seen on the big screen.

She joined the armed forces on D-Day, the English armed forces since she was an English girl at the time.

Then she joined the varsity team and came to America.

All the talk about modern immigration used to amuse her.

In her day you needed a sponsor, you needed to pass the citizenship test, and you needed a job.

She and her husband came to Ohio through Canada with their first born. Their second born arrived in Ohio shortly after them.

One Midwest winter later the family moved to Los Angeles. Snow and ice were not their cup of tea.

Aerospace industries needed a radar expert from the English Navy, and women in Southern California needed some upbringing by an English Domestic Science teacher.

They got both.

The young mother made friends easily, and more than that, she had an idea what she and her new friends ought to do together.

Through the YMCA, or YWCA, and beyond, a gang of women bonded through their kids and husbands.

She was always the English woman, her daughter the English girl, in an increasingly diverse city.

Over the years her house was robbed, caught on fire, then they moved.

The fire was one of those moments coming home, hearing the sirens, thinking, “That’s close to our house,” then turning the corner and it was their house.

From working for The Y, the State of California Employment Office, and with her husband’s project, the lady in the top image showed the sort of energy you read about.

She pushed for what she wanted, and when she got push back, she pushed harder, and did it in a way that wasn’t pushy.

Some people know how to get their way and don’t care about feelings or resentment; others have such a kind manner you look forward to their request.

In a long life of joy and heartache mixed in equal measures, she reflected the joy. Her way of coping was doing what needed done, doing it some more, then letting the pieces lay where they fall.

She wasn’t addicted to what could have been because she did more than anyone to show how things could be. If you pay attention you see her working, if not she wouldn’t judge you for it.

A certain kindness allows others to fall to their own mistaken ideas. You wouldn’t make that mistake twice.

How does someone who loves the California lifestyle of sun and beach and hills and boats adapt to an Oregon with clouds, hard beaches, and mountains?

Like others of her generation, she made it look easy. That’s their lesson and what the rest of us need to learn.

Living according to any standard is hard. It’s always hard, but giving up, or adjusting personal standards because you’re tired, was never an option.

By her example, it’s hard being addicted to what could have been if you have a fresh cup of tea, warm toast and marmalade, and a dog of a lifetime to look forward to.

That’s one road to a wonderful day.

About David Gillaspie
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