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FOUR THINGS



There are many things, which I have done in my life that I regret. But there are several things in particular that stand out in my mind - things I did that hurt people I cared about and things that I now truly and honestly regret, and wish never happened.

The first one I will never reveal, talk about, admit or even discuss. It is just too disgraceful and horrible to even think about. However, I did apologize to the individual involved and I do not know if they will ever forgive me. But even if they do, I will probably never forgive myself.

The second incident involves my former stepson, Curry, when he was about 15 years old. He was a good kindhearted person and I do not think he had a bad bone in his body. I also believe that his IQ was about 68 on the scale and it was very difficult for him to sometimes understand even the simplest of things.

One day, I was out mowing the lawn and he asked me if he could help me. I told him that it was dangerous and that I would rather do it myself. Since I was cutting the lawn in a perfect square, I finally decided to allow him to give it a try as long as I stayed beside him. He just could not follow the square outline that I had made and he kept pulling the mower off to one side. The more he pulled the mower to the side, the more upset I became. I yelled at him several times. I told him to stop laughing and to pay close attention to what we were doing, because he could really hurt the two of us if we got our feet caught underneath the running lawn mower. But he just would not listen to me. All of a sudden, I hauled off and slapped him across the face as hard as I possibly could, almost knocking him down. I just stood there for a minute waiting for him to get up. When he did, I grabbed him, hugged him and told him I was so sorry for what I had just done.

About that time, his mother came running out of the house calling me every name in the book, and I mean every name imaginable. Things were never the same between her and I after that incident. I do not think she ever forgave me. But I do know that Curry did, because that is just the kind of good kid that he was and still is.

The third incident involved my somewhat mean acting 11-year-old step-grandson, Bobby. I had been working late that day and when I came into the house, someone told me that Little Bobby had called his grandmother a "bitch." I instructed Bobby to go into the back bedroom where he and I sat down on the edge of the bed. I began my very long, calm, quiet 30- minute talk with him. The very last thing I said to him while still using a very smooth, quiet tone was this: "If I ever hear of you calling your grandmother a bitch again, they will find you buried in a shallow hole somewhere in the woods 20 years from now. Do you understand that son?"

Though I will probably never see him again, as his grandmother and I were divorced some years ago, I will never forget that look on his face. I will for the remainder of my life regret having said those words to that young boy.

The forth incident involved me not going to the hospital, because of an argument that I had with Mr. Lloyd C. Nevis, A cranky old gentleman who everyone in the neighborhood found very hard to get along with. He was the type of person who might just come after you with a hammer in hand, if you came onto his property without permission. He was a very stern man that I fished with for many years, yet a person who took the time to teach me everything he knew about fishing the California Delta. He was an individual that I truly cared very much about, though I never told him so.

I was with him the day the doctor told him he had cancer and that he would die within six months. I wanted to cry when I was driving him back home from the doctor's office. I wanted so much to tell him that I cared for him and to ask him to "please don't die on me old man." But I just could not get the words to come out.

Eight months later, he died alone in his hospital room. I stood mad all by myself in my mother-in-law's kitchen with a sour look on my face, my arms folded across one another being very stupid and too stubborn to just let the argument drop.

For what little it is worth. I just want to say to myself that I am truly sorry. I want to apologize and promise these people that I will never make the same mistakes again.

Again, for whatever little that is worth now.



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