ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Journey: A Look at Aging - Chapter 13

Updated on July 16, 2020

The collaboration


“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself. It is not far. It is within reach. Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.” ~ Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?” ~ Rumi


This is chapter 13 of a 16 chapter series, written by 16 Hubpages authors. A new chapter has been published each weekday during the month of July 2012 and linked to the other chapters at the bottom of each hub. The planning began weeks ago as each of us posed a question to our collaborators about the journey through life and the lessons we've each learned through aging. I answered each of their questions, and below are their answers to mine.

I can't say enough about the positive spirit that this effort has generated within this group, and hopefully to a larger audience of online authors. Our currency with each other was being of service, being generous of each other and being altruistic in an authentic effort to pass along wisdom and experience garnered during our lives. The goal of this concept has been to respect and honor the richness of life, as well as acknowledge the challenges we experience as we move through our existence.

In my question, I chose to explore the concept of choices - how we look at those significant choices we have made, and whether we would make them again. This poses an interesting dilemma - whether we think we made the right choice or not, and whether we want to defend the choices we did make. Is the grass truly greener on the other side of the pasture?

My question

What was your most important fork in the road moment? With the wisdom that comes with experience, would you make the same choice? Why or why not?

Answers from my collaborators

Her answer: I made a vital, necessary fork-in-road choice, but as most choices are, it was the result of prior less wise choices. I had to exert my independence from stifling domination by my eldest sister, Harriet, who’d sought to ‘fix’ me, - her way. She was 14 when I was born; she’d led and I’d followed, till, at 21, it became clear that her control was to continue past graduation for the rest of my life. I escaped her influence, setting off on my own: a wise choice. But I didn’t confront her: poor choice. I’d have made the same choice, but more assertively, sooner.Tragedy soon took her and her family’s lives; I’d have been among them, had I followed her plans. This became a long-lasting, many-faceted influence on my life for its next major segment and casts its shadow even now. She never forgave or really knew me: a shared loss and regret. I must believe there’s ‘more’, for both our sakes.Because of the difficult, valuable experience and its influence, eventually I learned to confront my challenges assertively and directly, in spite of established patterns.

His answer: My marriage fell apart because my wife had Thyroid disease and was completely unstable for years. She had a diagnosis but refused to take any action. Eventually I had taken all I could and left. In retrospect, or if this were to occur now, I would work harder to find a way to help the other person solve the situation. There are times when you are involved in a situation, even for years and you can lose sight of what was important. What I would tell those that follow , is that even when things seem like there is no solution there will be one right around the next corner. All you have to do is look for it.

His answer: I would have to say it happened earlier rather than later for me. My most important fork would have to be when I met my Mentor and father I never had at the tender teen age of 15 years old. If we had not met, I don't know where my life would have headed as I was brought up in a very poor area of the city and I was hanging out with boys who later in their lives were either imprisoned for crimes they committed or killed for them. My Mentor changed my life and turned it completely around and I am the man today because of him. The choice was mine at the time, he just insured I made the right one and today Vincent is very thankful for my angel placing him square in the middle of my fork in the road.

Her answer: I took a “wrong fork in the road” when young and immature, sacrificing college to an ill-considered marriage. The resulting unhappy union gave me three beloved children, so I wouldn’t erase it, even if I had a magic wish. I do regret, however, that I didn’t cut my losses much sooner than I did. I thought children were better off with both parents even in a toxic marriage. Wrong! I learned, too late, that children fare better growing up with a single parent in a non-stressful environment than in a dysfunctional, high-tension family unit. If I could revoke one choice, it would be that one. With hindsight, I believe my children and I would all have benefited if I hadn’t clung to a sinking ship. If only I’d had the wisdom to make the right choice at that critical earlier stage!As I wrote in a poem, “Alas, I’ll never know.” There are no magic wishes.

Her answer: Hmm, my most important fork-in-the road moment? I'm not really sure I had one. My life has been an accumulation of fork-in-the-road moments; the decision to marry, the decision to have children, the decision to work, the decision to go back to work when my children were in school...these are just some of the fork-in-the-road decisions I have made. I never had one of those 'struck by lightning' moments when everything was suddenly made clear and the decision was right before me. My life has progressed in little steps that had big consequences and results but none that I truly regret. Taking my life one day at a time and keeping close to what I believe and who I love has been my guiding precept. If I do ever have one of those fork-in-the road moments I'll be ready.

His answer: With the (seemingly small) amount of wisdom that comes with age, looking back at those"fork in the road moments", I guess the one I would be most likely to want to change would be getting married almost as soon as I graduated from high school. It is a story I won't relate in answering this question, but it set the tone for later decisions as well. Would I really change it? No. As I think I said elsewhere in this question and answer project, I feel that every decision made along the way results in who I am now, in this moment. I would have to be pretty miserable to want to change that, and I am not. I am content with life as it is today, so I try to live here, in that today, in this moment, without regret, or over the shoulder gazes into the past. We will celebrate our third anniversary on July 11th. Together for nearly five years now, my contentment stems, in large part, from our relationship.

His answer: I stood in front of our home/publishing company looking up at the stars of the Nashville sky. A battle stirred in my soul. I had to make a decision, stay and be a star or leave with stars in my tears. I remember looking at the living room light which was directly across from the publishing office where the lights were out. In the living room where the light was on, was my beautiful wife and our three wonderful children. In the publishing office was hundreds of my songs along with others that my sister Ann/partner and I had signed.

I believed that I could have become one of Nashville's great songwriters but the very political environment of the music business seemed to always clash with my creativity and the kind of person I am. Having severe back problems for two years had put us in dire straits financially. Surgery had repaired my condition but I was working two jobs and spinning my wheels of effort down the hill. I believed I was on the edge of fame having written songs with famous writers and working on a development deal with a major publishing company. My decision that night came like lightning. I looked up at the stars, then to the light of our living room. I whispered out loud,"Go home Tom....just go home."

I went back in the house to prepare my family. The kids had just started school but were OK with the move. My wife, being the treasure of a soul she is...took my hand and said,"I came here with you....I'll go home with you." The next evening we were headed north to Ohio. I look back now with no regrets. We made wonderful friends in Nashville and met so many special people. It was a six year long experience that I will always cherish.

A few years ago, a friend of mine called and told me he had recorded a song we wrote together in Nashville. He had put it on his album titled,"Broken, by Lawren Patrick Lelko. The name of the song is,"Sailing." It is a spiritual song about our final journey home. Lawren told me that he had given a copy of the album to his friend. He said that his friend would listen to, "Sailing" on his way home from work every night because it relieved his tremendous stress of the day. His friend was an Army Colonel who was in charge of handling incoming wounded soldiers from Iraq.

That was the moment I learned the real meaning of success. I had written something that calmed a horrible storm within a fellow human being. My recordings and writings may die in the winds of time but they will live in the hearts of my children and grandchildren for as long as they are passed down.

I chose the right fork in the road that night. I chose home.

Her answer: The times were turbulent and restless in the '60s and '70s. Traditions were broken, ideals were elevated to cult status, and one chose sides with the establishment or with the counter-culture. My important fork-in-the-road occurred at that point. I had the opportunity to go to the Sorbonne to study fine art but had to meet and maintain certain conditions that felt more like restrictions during a time when many of us were busy throwing such things out the window. Instead, I chose to strike out into the unknown and take my chances with the Hotel California. Would I make the same choice again? Absolutely not. Assuming that I am standing at the fork with this wisdom and have no memories of a yet unchosen life, I would go to Paris. I would paint like a woman possessed by beauty and yearning, play music, and dance with abandon. I would stroll with a lover through the narrow streets at dawn, knock on the window of a boulangerie for croissants fresh from the oven and stop for a freshly brewed café. However, if I took this accumulated wisdom with me down this new road, I would also be the most boring young woman in Paris. There is a time for wisdom and it is not when we are young. Think of all the midnight swims we would miss! So if I can leave the wisdom at the fork in the road, I will be in Paris. Perhaps decades later I'll be reading Laura Ingalls Wilder and dreaming of a life on the prairies. Or perhaps not.

His answer: My "Fork-in-the-road" moment was in February 2004 when I was diagnosed with Accelerated Fibromyalgia and Neurothopy in my body, bones and nerves. These are incurable. I realized then, and with much depressed-emotions, that my life would forever be changed and that I would be bound to sit around my home and watch life pass me by. Now on June 15, 2012, I was right.


“Alice came to a fork in the road. 'Which road do I take?' she asked.
'Where do you want to go?' responded the Cheshire Cat.
'I don't know,' Alice answered.
'Then,' said the Cat, 'it doesn't matter.”
~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland



Her answer: My most important fork-in-the-road moment was the decision my husband and I made about our careers when he retired from the Army. If I could relive one night in my life, it would be that one when we were sitting at our kitchen table and discussing him going into his
family’s business. I had absolutely no experience to give me the wisdom to understand the repercussions of that choice. I could have saved our family from a decade of financial ruin and personal anguish. All I had to say was I don’t think this is a good idea, and my husband would have taken us down a different road. But instead I said if this is what you think you want to do . . .
I can’t say no good came from that choice. Our children have an understanding of how hard it is to come by a dollar, which is not necessarily a bad thing. They saw their parents love for each other tried almost to the breaking point – but endure. If I had it to do over again – I would not have made the same choice. But we survived. God protected us and led us out of that wilderness and on to a promised land we would have never imagined.

His answer: I came from a hostile home and was a latch-key kid throughout my informative years in Chicago. I got into a lot of trouble and did many things I am not proud of. Fear, hate, and violence were the tools that I sharpened my teeth on as a child. If I had not met Christ and taken Him by the hand, I would have become a most dangerous, malevolent, and violent hatemonger of the first order.

So, without saying too much, my most important fork-in-the-road moment is when I decided to follow Christ Jesus and accept His love and forgiveness, instead of continuing down the road of selfishness, hatred, bitterness, and violence.

For me, the love of God was the key to my recovery and it was this key that set me free. So, yes, I would make the same choice ten trillion times over if given the chance, because it is only through Christ that I was freed and redeemed.

Her answer: Having completed two years of college, I got married, worked two years, and had three baby boys. Ten years later, I returned to school for a history degree. After graduation I planned to raise my sons, serve in my church, write an occasional article for the county magazine. One afternoon Dr. Keene (history professor) asked me what I would do after graduating? I told him. He said that wouldn’t do and offered to write a letter of recommendation for me. I said I had no money; he said Emory University had plenty of money. I wasn’t sure; he was very sure. Emory offered me a full scholarship; it required an eighty hour a week commitment for five years; my children were ten, twelve, and fourteen and involved in ROTC, theater, choir, basketball, and soccer. Church friends were negative. I went to Emory and graduated seven years later. My husband left in year six; that was hard for my sons, but eventually our life became more peaceful and better. For eighteen years I have been blessed to earn my living doing what I love and what I happen to be good at. J I would do it all again. J

His answer: Of course not and I definitely would are my answers. My fork in the road moment occurred in the seventh grade. I chose to drink alcohol – a lot of alcohol. I got in a fight, vomited blood and took an ambulance ride to the hospital. Of course I would not repeat that decision, but I did, over and over and over again.

Once I took that first drink, I was powerless to resist the next drink. I was caught in a cycle of compulsion and obsession which possessed me for most of my life.

There were many forks in the road where I sought help with my addiction and yet another fork where I chose to resume my drinking.

Twelve years ago, I put the “plug in the jug”. One day at a time, I have taken the necessary steps to avoid returning to a life of active addiction.

I am sober today but may reach another fork in the road tomorrow.

His answer: If that fork in the road punctured my tire, I would be ticked. But enough of that. I need to answer your question.

I've always been a structured, steadfast person who just plodded ahead in a straight line and is uncomfortable with change. So, any time a change seemed the best course of action, I agonized over it. I've never felt very self confident even though others thought I was (That comes with the serious look). Anyway, it was easy to slip into a secure clerical job with the State of California after High School. At an early age, I met an attractive young woman who seemed to like me. We were married quite young and we settled into a comfortable existence and began raising children. That was surely and important fork in the road. Would I take that fork again? I don't know, but I would not change the choices that created my family for the world. I later worked for 4 years with the State Department of Justice as a Fingerprint Examiner beginning in in 1957

A move to Eureka, California in August 1961 was certainly an important fork in the road. I was to begin a career with the State Department of Employment. Having little money and no savings, we managed to rent a truck and move all of our belongings to a rental house some 300 miles away. We were away from friends and family and on our own in a new environment with three small children. It turned out well as I was warmly accepted by the Eureka Employment office staff and we met some nice neighbors. But, I had a lot to learn on the new job and felt unsecure for quite a while.

A few years ago, I might have answered your question differently, but today, looking back, I think I made some good choices. With the wisdom, I've gained from experience, I think the most important fork in the road was deciding to have children. They are a true blessing.

His answer: 7:40 P.M. 1975, somewhere, north bound on the San Diego Freeway. My car was packed with personals, seven years of marriage and a five year old daughter fading in my rear view mirror. Whether I was running from or running too, is irrelevant, I was simply running. I remember pulling over to some inconspicuous place on the shoulder of a road going nowhere. I remember the words I spoke , even today, some 37 years later. “ God if your there, I need to know that your there and I need to know what to do.” We spoke for about three or four minutes and I turned my sad excuse for a car and my sadder excuse for a life around and headed home. I met God that day, I met my wife that day and I met my daughter that day. At twenty seven years old, I can remember the very moment in which I grew up. Ironically, it only took three minutes. Would I make the same choice again? Emphatically! Why? Because she let me!


“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.” ~ Robert Frost

“We are our choices.” ~ Jean-Paul Sartre


My answer

A couple of decades ago, I moved with my wife to Santa Rosa, California - a chance to leave the city in which I grew up, and plant ourselves into a new town tucked in the midst of wine country. Almost every night, we either went to the coast and watched the sunset with a bottle of wine, bread, cheese, or we walked into town to play pool, or just explore our neighborhood. During the year we lived there, I was in my early 30s and was exploring life and career options, so I signed up for law school, shortly after which my wife became pregnant with our first child. After some heart-wrenching decision-making, I decided to quit law school, take a promotion back in Sacramento, sell our house in Santa Rosa, and raise our children here. Four years later, we divorced. As a result, I missed out on creating some of the family bonding experiences I had hoped to with my children. Looking back, I can't really say it was the wrong decision. I can speculate that life would have taken a completely different direction had we stayed in Santa Rosa - but would it have been better, worse, or substantially the same?

Several years ago, Gwyneth Paltrow starred in a movie called Sliding Doors, which postulated this, actually through a circumstance of non-decision. In one scenario, she misses the train; in the other, she catches it. As a result, her life takes a different trajectory because of that one fateful circumstance. Interestingly, at the very end, it appears that what was true destiny may occur regardless.

I believe life is full of choices like this. I know I struggled with it at the time, but now see it as the only rational path. I could have just as easily been sitting here nearly two decades later and wondering what would have happened if I made the other choice. I can't help but think we're drawn to the party we didn't attend or to the person we didn't meet, all of which is a vapor. I know for certain there have been many blessings that have come to me that would not have happened had I chosen differently.

Even though I posed the question, I did so more from a sense of curiosity about people and how they see their choices through the passage of time, not because I wished for something different. I accept and celebrate life, with the amalgamation of choices I did make, both the good and bad ones. That is one correct choice I know I can make right now - in this moment.

As for my collaborators, I sit in quiet admiration for your courage, wit and seasoned perspective. Thank you all so much for sharing your warmth and humanity with all of us.


"When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change. At such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back." ~ Paulo Coelho


Me, my daughter, step-Mom and Dad (aka Jackwms - who you'll meet in Chapter 15!)
Me, my daughter, step-Mom and Dad (aka Jackwms - who you'll meet in Chapter 15!)

~~~~~~ A Table of Contents ~~~~~~~~

THE JOURNEY ~ A Look At Aging

Coming next:

Revisit PREVIOUS Chapter


THE JOURNEY-CHAPTER 12 of 16. “Growing older involves diminishment or compromise in physical abilities or eventually will. We must consider that our lives won't stretch out endlessly. How do these realities affect how you live yours?" + 16 answers.

Coming NEXT on JULY 20th


Follow THE JOURNEY to CHAPTER 14 of 16 Chapters. Asks: “Does your belief system include an afterlife or reincarnation which provides you hope that your spirit will survive the passing of your body?“, answered by our 16 authors. See it on JULY 20!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Gerg profile imageAUTHOR

      Gregory S Williams 

      6 years ago from California

      Hi Gerry - I've been pretty absent from HP as well, and for some reason didn't get your comment notification. Happy to hear of what sounds like a very positive change for you. Life is good!

      Best, Greg

    • sligobay profile image


      6 years ago from east of the equator

      Hi Greg.

      I've been gone from HubPages for six months as I've returned to Ireland to enjoy my finest years. i hope that you and yours are all well. Cheers.

    • Gerg profile imageAUTHOR

      Gregory S Williams 

      8 years ago from California

      Sure, Gerry - I'm happy to participate!


    • sligobay profile image


      8 years ago from east of the equator

      Hello Greg. Arb, Theresa and I are performing a complete reread of the Journey from back to front. Your chosen quotations are wonderful. Your posed question elicited extremely personal responses from our team of writers. This question caused us all to examine our lives and address the fork in the road moment. Happily, I am another year sober and do not regret the decision to change my life for the better. I hope that you and yours are well.

      PS: I left a proposal for a brief reunion project in the comment to Arb's Chapter 16. Please consider it and respond. Gerry

    • Gerg profile imageAUTHOR

      Gregory S Williams 

      8 years ago from California

      Thank you, Maria - my collaborators have much wisdom and perspective; I'm honored to have been able to tap into them for this project!



    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Greg,

      Your question was a powerful one and some equally profound answers were given ... perfect selections of quotes and songs, especially Clapton, to showcase this topic.

      Really excellent... Voted UP and UABI. Thank you, Maria

    • Gerg profile imageAUTHOR

      Gregory S Williams 

      8 years ago from California

      snakeslane and mollymeadows - thank you so much! I agree - this was certainly a worthy project; there's much wisdom and positive perspective reflected through these incredible people. I appreciate your feedback ~


    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 

      8 years ago from The Shire

      I loved this. So many different roads and decisions. It's fascinating to see how different people deal with the issues that confront us all.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      8 years ago from Canada

      This is a beautiful hub Gerg (Greg) The art work and illustrations, the photographs and quotes, and the dribble cartoon, but especially the responses from you and your collaborators. It is so fascinating what opportunities life offers us along the way and how choosing to go down a certain road changes everything. It is so interesting to see the stories here. Good work. Regards, snakeslane

    • Gerg profile imageAUTHOR

      Gregory S Williams 

      8 years ago from California

      Thanks CJ - and you're right. Regret can immobilize a person if he dwells on it too long. As I've said many times, life is lived right now; the past educates, the future planned for, but neither should cloud appropriate living. I agree, this was a great project, tapping with positivity into the wisdom that came from all. And I really appreciate your answer - hate, while a natural instinct, divides and accomplishes nothing. God bless you.



    • profile image

      CJ Sledgehammer 

      8 years ago

      Well done, Greg, another outstanding link in our collective chain.

      I learned a lot about the "Sweet Sixteen" through reading their answers to your thoughtful question.

      I think it is true, that sometimes our lives can be defined by one fateful decision...a decision to turn left, right, or forge straight ahead at the great crossroads. Making tough decisions says a lot about the people that we are, and it says a lot about our characters.

      Greg, I just wanted to say that I am sorry that your marriage, all those years ago, ended painfully. I think this is something that happens to many of us, but sometimes it is better if it happens earlier rather than later.

      It is also common for people to think that things would have turned out better if they took the right fork in the road, instead of veering left. It really is impossible to tell if things would have been better, worse, or the same. So, at the end of the day, there are just too many variables to consider, such that, this effort becomes an exercise in futility.

      When I find myself revisiting the great crossroads in my would be wise not to linger there for long, because my time could be better spent elsewhere. :0)

      Peace be with you and yours - C.J. Sledgehammer

      P.S. Voted up and away!!!

    • Gerg profile imageAUTHOR

      Gregory S Williams 

      8 years ago from California

      You're welcome, Tom - you had a compelling, thoughtful answer to the question; thank you so much for your input!


    • Tom Cornett profile image

      Tom Cornett 

      8 years ago from Ohio

      Loved reading this and listening to Clapton. Your question took me straight to Nashville. As I read about others who faced their forks in roads...I learned things about myself. You did a great job on this. Thank you for such and enjoyable read and music. :o)

    • Gerg profile imageAUTHOR

      Gregory S Williams 

      8 years ago from California

      shiningirisheyes - I appreciate your kind words.

      Klara - so good to hear from my friend from abroad! Those are wise choices. Just back from Boy Scout camp #2 and will certainly be writing a hub about it this weekend...

      SilverGenes - yes it does. I was really happy to spend some quality time with my daughter, Dad and step-Mom last month. That, of course, is the view from the Space Needle!

      Thanks all for your thoughtful responses.


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Fantastic, Greg! I love the cartoon, too:) This question brought out some very personal responses and as I read through them, I once again marvel at the collaboration taking place here. The family photo at the end answers best of all, doesn't it? Wonderful job!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I still have to read all other hubs but I often check to see what new material you've published and couldn't postpone reading it. Everyone has answered this question from a different angle and I couldn't help to think of my own life. Most life-changing decisions were not chosen by me but by someone else. I have taken control over other important issues, but the choices that shaped me happened early in life, when I still didn't have much of a voice.

      But I'd say that I face a daily fork in the road - my choice to love, accept, and encourage everyone I come across. It's hard to stay positive within chaos, but it is our choice.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      8 years ago from Upstate, New York

      You are a talented writer but I commend you most of all for writing with such honestly, self exploration and depth.

      Fantastic read.

    • Gerg profile imageAUTHOR

      Gregory S Williams 

      8 years ago from California

      phdast - yes, that was at Point Reyes (see Hike By the Sea hub); I just thought it was a cool contrast between the sign and the sea behind. I also thought the sign offered sage advice...

      tillsontitan and Vincent - thank you so much, and yes, we're concerned yet hopeful for my Dad; he truly is a great writer, and person.



    • profile image

      Vincent Moore 

      8 years ago

      You shared an array of diverse answers to that very acclaimed question. Had it not been for forks in our roads, it would not have made us the people we are today. Life is full of twists and turns and I doubt I will escape without a few more. I loved your choice of music and photos and that one of you and family is beautiful.

      Every single human on this magnificent earth has been wrought with challenges due to forks in their roads. I am thankful that my maker placed an angel on a most critical fork in my road at an early age. I truly believe in KISMET and somewhat in destiny. What my creator has in store for Vincent now is a mystery to even me.

      Thank you for sharing your fork in your road and may your father meet his head on with much success. The medical field is advancing rapidly with new discoveries for cures and corrections. Peace and blessing to you and your family my fellow writer.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      8 years ago from New York

      I have to say, to me it seems this is the most personal Chapter in our Journey. All along we've had great answers and great hubs, but this one seems to really reach down deep...each answer is so personal and revealing! WoW. Your quotes and photos are an excellent compliment to an excellent hub!

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      8 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Greg - Such a well done chapter in which you selflessly revealed so much of your personal story, which is not always an easy thing to do. Your question did result in many varied, interesting, and helpful responses - I think we collectively struck gold several times.

      I loved your selection of pictures, from the opening and closing scenes of a rustic wooden bridge/walkway to the incredible highway hairpin turn where it seems surely one will drive into the sea. My family spent three years in Athens, Greece (my father was Air Force) and we spent a summer driving through Europe.

      Oh my heavens the hairpin turns! My mother always swore the European road trip took ten years off her life. :) But best of all, was the family picture with you and your father in it. We are not only a collaborative group, we are inter-generational as well. :)

    • Gerg profile imageAUTHOR

      Gregory S Williams 

      8 years ago from California

      sligobay, Kathleen, Jaye, Dad, Nellieanna, xstatic, Curiad, arb: my collaborators, thank you so much for contributing your wisdom and experience, as well as your support by your thoughtful comments. I am glad I folded in my Dad, so it only seemed natural to include a photo of us from last month in Seattle.

      mjboomer - thank you for checking in. I see from your hubs that you've written extensively about aging and longevity. I think that may qualify you as an adoptive collaborator! Thanks for your support.

      Contrary to superstitious belief, 13 (chapter) is not an unlucky number; I feel fortunate to be able to debunk the myth by celebrating each of these wonderful writers, and human beings.



    • arb profile image


      8 years ago from oregon

      Thank you greg! A superb treatment of a wonderful series. This was a question which elicted revealing answers which in turn, illuminated the journey we all venture. A lot of "what ifs" and a lot of lessons learned.

      The family picture was a wonderful addition. I marvel at the similarities which life imposes upon each of us, even more at the similarities in how we respond. We are so much more alike than different. Obviously, as in all things, it is the differences with which we are occupied. Thanks for injecting yourself into this chapter, for your help in assisting others with their own and for persuading your dad to join us. He has proven himself a collective treat. I appreciate your inclusion in this collaboration and as this hub displays, you have added another dimension to us all.

    • mjboomer profile image

      Mike Elzner 

      8 years ago from Oregon

      I agree, this is a great chapter. Interesting how just one fork in the road makes a huge difference in one's life.

      Thank you Greg!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Another excellent chapter in this series Greg. The answers are all filled with great information and your answer is interesting.

      Thanks for another great chapter on this journey!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      8 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Outstanding contribution to the series of the Journey! It gets every vote but funny, though I did smile quite a bit while reading. Your personal answer to your question is an excellent way to close. I too liked the family photo and Pickles ( we always read the comics). Thank you for a wonderful chapter, Greg!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      This Chapter 13 lives up to my perception of you as a person, a collaborator and a creative genius! So well put together on every score.

      Your question is an important one. If we are to glean from the years we've lived the most valuable lessons they taught and wisdom with which they imbued us, we need to examine those moments which were the MOST determinant of which way we'd go. Even then, we may have found ourselves faced with many more 'forks' from which to choose, but the major one or ones served us well in making those later choices. Simply realizing that 'we can't go back and change them' - is perhaps the most valuable lesson of all. When we're young, many things seem to sort themselves out, seemingly without effort. We may not realize that our parents stepped in to "pad the corners" - as my beloved Mother referred to it. She also mentioned that the opportunity as a parent to do that is very short-lived. How right she was!

      Both your musical selections are "rather new" to this ole head, :-) definitely not "Oldies" to it! But music is in my DNA so I've always followed the trends through all the decades! I scarcely had "My Own Music", in fact -- at least not really discernibly.

      My parents came into their own at the turn of the 20th century from the 19th, - with its quaint music. Dad was strictly a classicist. Dance would have been to a Strauss waltz, if he'd danced! Mother danced to "Skip to M'Lou" and progressed through the 'teens with Stephen Foster and from the sidelines of parenting and struggling with taming a wilderness into the 'Roarin' 20s'. Then my older siblings brought it up to date when I was a child in the 30s and 40s and my heyday, if I could sort it out, was the late 40s and 50s. My kids' musical interests were starting in the 60s and 70s and my own love of listening and making music through each decade has kept me somewhat 'current', certainly eclectic! Smokey Robinson really appeals to me, and I appreciate Eric Clapton, though he's not my first choice of styles. Your selections FIT your theme 'just right' and give it delightful musical pizzazz.

      The cute cartoon (so true!) and all the wonderful quotes - wow! Perfect. I love your own thoughts expressed in the beginning and at the end; and the photo of you and some of your family - including our OWN Jack is a special treat! Thank you, Greg!!

      (btw - the adding of the last 3 Chapters to the TOC is something I thought might work, and you've proven it does!)

    • Jackwms profile image


      8 years ago

      Well, this hub is a special one to me as Greg is my youngest son and the person who brought me in as a collaborator in this series on aging. Since there have now been 13 chapters published, and I've read through every one, I've gained much new perspective about this journey called life. I've taken many forks in the road and managed to ,at least , stay on a road that went the right direction. It looks like I have another fork to take now that I have advanced prostate cancer, but I'm sure that will have a good outcome.

      I loved your photos and musical selections, and, of course, I was there with you for the photo in the Space Needle this past May.

      Great job Greg

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      8 years ago from Deep South, USA

      This is a wonderful chapter, Greg, and I'm inspired by my collaborators' diverse answers to your question about "fork in the road" moments and decisions.

      Each element you added to your hub's design also added to the overall message of Chapter 13. The reference to the movie SLIDING DOORS was right on target. I recall seeing that movie and the questions it prompted me to ask myself at the time.

      I must say: you have great taste in music--Eric Clapton and Smokey Robinson! : )

      Oh, yes...thanks for sharing the family photo.

      This hub gets "Thumbs up" from me and rated Useful, Awesome, Beautiful and Interesting. You made the bar and cleared it, Greg, with a superb addition to THE JOURNEY.


    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      8 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      This part of the Journey is facinating! What answers! What stories! Every life is a book of chapters. Thank you collaborators for letting us read a few of yours.

      Kenneth: Love, love, love the cartoon. This could soooo be me and my old soldier!

      Very well put together Gerg. Thanks for the effort that went into this one.

    • sligobay profile image


      8 years ago from east of the equator

      Great chapter Greg. Being an early bird on the east coast, I have the privilege of being the first to comment. You posed a great question and elicited some great responses. I loved the honesty expressed by all. Your musical choices and your choice of quotes are brilliant. I love Clapton and Smoky Robinson. Your chapter has cleared the bar and I am next up tomorrow. Thanks for your effort and contribution.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)