"Life with no regrets" anthony p. fitzgerald

My stepfather's parents were both depression era children, both graduated from High School in 1941 just in time for WW II. There got married in ’43. After the war was over, he went to college, she supported them both by working.
His mother became pregnant, so they moved to Illinois to be close to family. She was strictly a stay-at-home mom with four children to raise. In ’62 his dad went to work at GM outside Detroit, and they lived in the suburbs. In 1966, his parents divorced and kids stayed with mom who basically raised them off child support, she did not work.
These two incredibly beautiful women are my stepdad's mom (on the left) and her sister (on the right). His aunt had everything his mom did not have. His aunt stayed single, never married, had no children, and lived quietly in Chicago until her fifties when she moved, learned to drive, and bought her first car. His aunt was always travelling, always off on a cruise, a tour group, on a bus somewhere. Until she retired and had a stroke she lived a varied and fun-filled life. He compares these two and he always wanted to be like his aunt, not his mother.
When he was 18 he graduated from high school and two weeks later joined the Army. He had some plans to only stay 3 years and then get out but he found he loved it, and stayed. He was first sent to Berlin, Germany.
He began to travel – Belgium, England, Germany. He would send home post cards and write long letters. His sisters went off to college and later he discovered his Mom was always telling them the great stories he had shared, living vicariously through my adventures.
Over the next decades he let myself be drawn along, he got out of the military to be a State Trooper, but then rejoined and went first to Korea, then back to Germany a third time. He also served in the Persian Gulf War, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia
After he retired, he got a job at ABAC in 1999. He started teaching criminal justice and advising student based on the lessons that he had learned from his life.
In 2013 he went off on vacation and turned up in Moscow, Russia. In 2012 he was diagnosed with diabetes and it was a wakeup call for him. He had not traveled much since his last military tour, and it suddenly hit him that his life expectancy could be shortened and he needed to get going again.
He can’t leave things with unfinished, he want to still go places and see things, do things, and he don’t want to wait a few more years until he retire. He tries not to have any regrets over his life, he made the best choices he could at the time, and over the years he have quit jobs and gone in new directions when he felt like “I don’t want to be here, doing this.” He does not feel these things are inevitable, that he stuck in place. He believes in the power we humans have over our lives, we can change anytime we want to, we don’t have to go forward and regret our life.
Thank you for being the best dad, best friend and best adviser for me the way your aunt was for you. Love you so much!

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