Shoulda

Chatted with the neighbour yesterday.

It’s a year since my father broke his back, and this weekend is the anniversary of when they took him into rehab and ignored his broken back until he became paraplegic.    The estate is still a mess.

He suggested that there were things I should have done differently.

Yes. yes, yes, yes.  In hindsight, so many things should have happened differently, starting with me being at the picnic where others didn’t watch my father as he got on my mother’s scooter.

There are so many fights that I fought that in the end turned out to be meaningless, and so many meaningful events that happened where I should have fought more and faster but didn’t.   I was so wrong so much of the time, wasting effort on things that in the end didn’t matter.

Neighbour was being nice, trying to offer a review of where I should have fought to take control but didn’t, acknowledging the mess that resulted from those choices.

But shoulda, woulda, coulda can only kill me now.

Those choices were made, that energy expended, that time passed, and I am where I am, painful and damaged.

I worked the story as best I could at the time.  And I know that, in retrospect, many, many, many of my choices were wrong.   Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

But what does that understanding do me now?   It’s not like I will ever face those exact choices again, not like there is any possibility of a do over, not like I can change what happened.

I live with the results of my choices, the best I could make in the moment, wishing again that I had a support network rather than just a family I had to drag forward myself and who made even more messes than I did.

I am alone and sad, here on this anniversary.

And shoulda can kill me.