Flying into Tulsa from San Diego in 1998- coming home on a 3-week Libo (leave from the service), after a 16-month deployment.
A few days before, there had been a bad ice storm and the roads were still slick.
My wife insisted on picking me up from the airport after I suggested taking a cab home. I didn’t want her driving on those slick roads., because there was an 8 mile stretch of country 2-lane road from our house to town, and it could get pretty treacherous, due to minimal maintenance. She refused to drive an old Cherokee Chief that I had at the house and chose to drive her 2WD Ranger pickup.
She lost control of the truck and went down a 40′ embankment, losing her life in the process. We had a 1-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son at home, that grew up without a mother, and I’ve spent the last 22 years kicking myself for not simply p****** her off to the point that she wouldn’t drive, and I could just make up with her when I got home.
I should have argued harder with her or had one of her brothers come and pick me up.
I met my new daughter for the first time, with her mother gone. I was basically meeting both my children for the first time, as I had deployed when my son was my daughter’s age. Neither knew me, and both were absolutely terrified and confused.
I was still obligated to the Corps for another year, but they did right by me. I stayed home on hardship, drew base pay until my EAS/discharge, dealing with being a single parent, PTSD, and transitioning to civilian life.
The happy ending is that both children had a great childhood, grew up smart, well adjusted, and successful. Daughter is finishing her master’s degree, and my son is a successful electrician raising a young son on his own.
There’s always a struggle in my mind that I’ll always deal with. My wife wasn’t going to EVER move from Oklahoma, and I planned on being a career Marine, so we would have ended up divorced, no doubt, and I wouldn’t have the bond with my children that I do now. I lost the love of my life, but I gained a great relationship with my kids. My children lost their mother, but they didn’t have to grow up with an absent father.
Life is funny…
I read the book ‘I, Claudius’. Loved it so much I scheduled a trip to visit Italy. While touring the sites, randomly met an american guy who was an IT guy (like me) for an american school there. A few weeks after coming back to the states, I email him and he tells me he’s getting married and moving back to the states and offered me his old position. Three months later I was on a plane back to Italy. Lived there for 4 amazing years and made some great lifelong friends.
Turning on my old xbox.. Right after high school I didn’t go to college or work.. I stayed inside my parents house for maybe a year and completely isolated myself from the world due to fear of growing up.
One day I was bored and decided to power on my old xbox 360 I hadn’t played in a few years and I noticed my XBL account had a friend request from months before that. Accepted the request and it was one of my childhood best friends I hadn’t talked too in maybe 6 years. Then our third childhood bestfriend joins the XBL party and we all start to hangout and it completely cured my depression and got my life on track. Now 8 years later and we live together have good jobs and are all doing really well!
When I was a kid, my mom, my cousin, my sister and I were all about to go to my great grandma’s house from my grandma’s house. It wasnt a far drive so my mom allowed my sister who was 11 at the time to sit up front, leaving my cousin and I in the back. My cousin chose the window seat behind the driver. For some reason I felt a need to sit in the middle instead of taking the other window seat. 2 minutes into the drive over, a woman who was clearly not paying attention, slammed right into the back seat of the car where I chose not to sit. Fire fighter later told us if anyone had been sitting there, they would be dead. Instead, all 4 of us walked out with 2 bruises and a scratch.
One day my foreman just flat out didn’t show up to work. I was vaguely familiar with what had to go on at the site, and who needed to do it, so I just started calling people, and talking to those on site saying I was filling in for him for today…
Fast forward a few months and people are saying they greatly prefer me organizing jobs, and management starts giving me jobs of my own. I start getting great reviews from clients and my jobs are making money. Eventually my old foreman gets fired (not because of me directly, but because of some questionable antics and poor performance).
Now I’m enjoying a significantly better paying and more fulfilling job. What started as a job to make a bit of money while I figured out what I want to do has turned into something with serious career potential.
I failed an unfailable class at university because I totally flunk studying. I was so sure it is unfailable I didn’t study at all.
I had to re-take the class in which there were group projects. Second time over, I was in a team with this girl.
I married her last summer.
I jokingly signed up for a computer science class in jr high because it was the first year they were going to teach it and I figured it would be some bulls*** easy A. Turned out I love programming and I’m currently in my 18th year of my career.
Got accepted at the best state school where I lived. When my mom found out she tried to “not let me” leave for school. Her plan: get a job in a local factory and pay her rent (like she did when she turned 18) so she could use the money to pay for my 3 brother’s college. My older brother was in an expensive private school already and I had 2 younger brothers. I moved out, went to college on my own and turn out to be the first kid to graduate (my older bro’ flunked out twice), first to get a job, first to get married, first to have kids and first to be childless at a young age. If I had done what my mom had wanted, I would have been f****** for life by my standards….
A friend asked if I’d drive with her to pick up her friend at LAX airport. This was so she could drive in the carpool lane. I said yes. I asked her friend to marry me 6 months later. We have two kids and have been married for 10 years now!
I met a guy online on AOL in 1994. Fell in love. Moved 2300 miles away from home to be with him. Could have been a disaster. But 26 years later, we are happily married and are still very much in love. Best decision I’ve ever made!