5.23.2007

Getting to Know You - Do-Over

Posted by Tammy

It's Wednesday - and that means Getting to Know You at Create a Connection. Painter Girl has asked some great questions this month! Here is what she wants to know today:

"If you could have a redo moment in your life, would you do it and what would it be? Not changing history drastically-it's all just a what if.

For example-would you have waited to get married later. Would you have had your children at an earlier age. Not have dated that strange girl/guy back in 11th grade."


I don't live my life with regrets. I really just don't. There are things I've done that I think, now, I should have done differently, but I learned from what happened, so it's not all bad! There is one thing in my life that immediately pops into my head though when I think about having a "do-over".

I had a good friend, Travis. We grew up together from kindergarten through high school. Travis had cystic fibrosis. He spent a lot of time out of school because he was in the hospital. I can remember sending get well cards to him. I even remember visiting him in Children's Hospital several times.

In 1995 (about two years after graduating high school) Travis and I took a road trip to Canada. His grandparents lived at 150 Mile House in British Columbia. We drove up there, spent about a week with them, sight-seeing, driving around. Then we drove down to Vancouver and visited other friends. And on in to Seattle where we stayed with Travis's Aunt and Uncle (I think...) It was a wonderful fun trip, and I'm SO glad I have the memories of it.

After we returned home to Colorado, we decided to be roommates. Travis needed some help because of his health, and I was living with my folks and didn't want to anymore. (We were always just friends - Travis was gay.) For a while things were great - we had fun. Then his friend Keith joined us in the tiny house. It was a problem. Too many people, not enough space... and Keith wasn't paying any bills - basically free-loading.

Travis and I had a big fight (I truly can't even remember the details at this point in time... I know it was over something fairly petty.) And I moved out - back to Mom and Daddy's. With no warning, I just packed it up and moved.

This was in October of 1995. Travis died, succumbing to his disease, in January of 1996. He turned 21 in December. After moving out, we didn't make up, we didn't patch up our friendship. He got very sick, and I wasn't there for him. I talked to him one time, very briefly before he died, but it was a surface conversation and not at all meaningful.

If I had a regret - which I did for many years - it was that I lost the opportunity to be with Travis during his last few months. He was a really good friend, and I miss him terribly (even 11 years later). I have worked through my grief, and I don't regret what happened, but if I could change it, I sure would. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't let our petty fight be the divider that it was. Knowing that he only lived a few short months after we fought, I would have tried to cherish that time, instead of being angry.

Now, this will sound weird, but I think Travis haunts me. Not in a bad way though. Every now and then something that is distinctly "Travis" pops up and smacks me. There have been several things that Mike did that reminded me so much of Travis. I think it is Travis's way of telling me he forgives me, and approves of Mike! (and every now and then, while shopping I hear Travis's voice saying... "Don't buy that skirt unless you find a shirt to match!" He was my fashion advisor. I was much better dressed back in the day than I am without his input. I was also more broke then because I spent so much on 'fashion'.)

3 Opinions:

paintergirl said...

I'm so glad you did this. What a moving story. I bet Travis is near you. I get feelings like that also about my dad and sister. Please post a pic.

hollibobolli said...

I read this post, Tammy, and it really touched me. My one do-over would be pretty much the same thing.. but with a family member. Not someone I fought with - but everyone thought I was too young to see my grandmother so sick. She was the closest person I had in this world. I would give just about anything for 5 minutes to tell her I love her and tell her goodbye.

I bet someday you will get to make up for things.

Big hugs.

donna said...

I've lost friends over the years because of things that happened before I knew I had bipolar disorder. I regret the lost friendships, but more so because those people wouldn't talk to me again. It's one thing to cut off a friendship, but not to speak to someone? That's just heartless.

Even if your conversation didn't feel substantial, I'm sure it was to Travis.