Fandango’s Provocative Question (16 June 2021)

Today’s Provocative Question, Fandango asks:

What is your biggest regret in life?

There are one or two stand-out candidates, head and shoulders above everything else.

  • Fatherhood. My daughter accused me of abusing her when she was fifteen
  • my stroke, six months later.

Let’s look at these. My daughter has had mental health diagnoses, I still see (from a distance) how she struggles through life. Sure, she hurt me badly, but I have seen with my own eyes, the additional effort she must expend, just to appear “normal”. I have a big, ongoing struggle with this, because she did hurt me so badly, and my natural reaction is to disengage. But, how can I regret her?

The stroke has left me disabled. I wish, of course, that things had been different. Only an idiot would volunteer to be disabled.

But because of the stroke, I got to see how our health service works. It leaves so much to be desired, it routinely fails the people to whom it bears an absolute responsibility. I will continue to preach about what is wrong, and how it can be improved, to anybody who will listen.

Same thing goes for the Benefits system. I’d never have seen that, if it weren’t for the stroke. How it traps people into undignified poverty, through no fault of their own. Something else I am happy to campaign on.

Okay, the stroke was shitty, but I am only 53. I have sufficient life in me to at least talk about these injustices. I’d have been ignorant of all of that, were it not for the stroke. Most of the time, people only find out how bad things are when it is too late to do anything about them, so with my relative youthfulness, I’m privileged.

I’m less able, but it feels like there is more to do than ever.

Again through the stroke, I got myself into voluntary work. The many stroke survivors I visited at the hospital, say. Most of the time I am sure it meant nothing, but once or twice, maybe I helped? Not to mention the dozen people who have a marginally better time each week because I have befriended them. That’s what they say, anyhow.

And I appreciate the value of that friendship. I posted the other day about the people I’ve loved. Man, I am so lucky to have known them – and, in most cases, to still know them, present tense. Those people, and the few whose identity I protected.

So, my answer is easy.

No regrets.


  1. I think true happiness is having no regrets; cheers to this and to you for carrying on, making the most of life’s messed up situations and being willing to use those tragedies to better the world.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have too many regrets to mention, no joke. I’m glad that you survived the stroke! Our health care system is terribly broken in my view, others may disagree. I’ve thought for some time now that the States should switch to the system that Canada and the United Kingdom have.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I regard the difference almost as semantic. How the care is paid for but not really the standard of care. I think our system is better, in theory, because it is more inclusive.


    • I certainly feel like I know a lot more than I did, say 10 years ago (both of these happened within the last 10 years), But I think most thing, we can see advantageously, if we choose to do so. Even really bad things, we are stronger because we got through them.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The reason incident with your daughter must have been very tough but I’m glad you’ve moved on because with mental illness, you cannot change their outlook easily. The stroke was obviously a bummer. You’re very courageous and pragmatic. The best way to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Pete
    Going through some older posts here. I’m sorry your daughter accused you of abusing her, that has got to be the worst thing ever! How do you recover from that?
    Your right about being disabled, nobody would knowingly choose that life, would they?
    But then, we get to campaign for better treatment and services! So that is a positive!

    Liked by 1 person

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