2016-08-25 / Opinions

Guest VIEWpoint: From Dave’s Desk

Strive to live life without regrets


David Rothe David Rothe I always tell my kids that they need to live their lives with no regrets. They need to do things, or choose to do things, while they are young not so that they won’t regret it when they get older. I tell them that they don’t want to be old and gray, sitting on the porch telling their kids or grandkids, “I wish I would have done that when I had the opportunity.”

When my oldest son, Austin, graduated from high school, he was struggling with the decision to go straight to college or go and play junior hockey for a couple of years before he goes to college. I simply told him, “I am an old man, but I can still go to college any time I want to. I can’t go and play junior hockey because I am too old, plus the fact that I can’t play hockey. But my point is this, don’t be my age and say to yourself, “I wish I would have played hockey while I had the chance.” Go play hockey. College can wait.

So that is what he did. He went to Winchester, Ontario, near Ottawa, and played junior hockey for two years. He had two great seasons, was Rookie of the Year, was a league All Star, and a top player for the Hawks. He also lost four teeth wearing just a helmet visor. But Dr. Justin Straight did a great job fixing them. That was only a temporary problem. Austin now attends Michigan State University (Go Green! Go White!) and plays on the MSU ACHA hockey team. He is loving life in East Lansing. No regrets.

And I had that same conversation again this past spring when my youngest son, Lucas, was debating on going to play junior hockey or going to MSU after he graduated from high school. I am very proud to say that at the time of this writing, he has signed a contract with the Syracuse Jr. Stars, and has attended training camp in Syracuse, NY. He moved there earlier this month to start his junior hockey career. And he will be wearing a full face cage on his helmet and a mouth guard. No regrets.

No regrets. That is a great theory, something to aspire to. It’s goal that we should all attempt to obtain. But in reality, we all have regrets. Regrets are part of life, part of human nature. You try to limit the number of regrets that you have by doing the right thing. But every now and then, we all do things that we regret later in life. There is no way to avoid it, but we try and try and try to limit it the best we can. We strive for no regrets. It becomes our motto, our creed. But then reality kicks in and we eventually end up having some regrets. Sometimes our regret may be getting involved with the wrong people and making bad choices. Or making a purchase that we really should have never made. Or doing something that we should have never done in the first place. Or passing on an opportunity that we should have taken. Or getting a girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband’s name tattooed on our bodies. And the relationship does not last. Yep, regrets. We are human. We have regrets.

During my past 24 years as a police officer, I have dealt with more than a couple of people who I am sure have had some regrets due to their decisions and actions. Usually alcohol was involved and was steering their decision making process right down the drain. And eventually they ended up in jail. They made the type of decisions that, when all is said and done, you look at them, shake your head and say to yourself, “What in the world was that knucklehead thinking?”

Several years ago I was working a night shift. During my shift I was dispatched to a complaint at a business on the east end of Bad Axe. The female cashier called and stated that her ex-boyfriend had come into the business and was harassing her. She wanted him removed from the business. I responded and when I arrived, I entered the business.

The ex-boyfriend was standing by the counter. He was about 6 foot, 6 inches tall but only weighed about 150 pounds. The cashier explained that he was refusing to leave the business and was harassing her, wanting to rekindle their relationship. She had no desire in doing this, so she asked him to leave. And of course, he refused.

The ex-boyfriend stated that the business was open to the public and he had a right to be there, as he was a customer. I asked him if he had bought anything, because that is what customers do. He turned around and grabbed a 2-liter of Mountain Dew and set it on the counter. He then paid for this item and said to me, “I’m a customer now.”

I replied, “Since your purchase is now complete, you are a former customer and you need to leave the store.” He refused.

I called the store owner and explained the complaint. The owner told me to remove the ex-boyfriend as he was being a hemorrhoid. Well, he didn’t exactly use the word “hemorrhoid”, but you get the idea of what he really said.

I informed the hemorrhoid, I mean ex-boyfriend, that he has to leave the store or he will be arrested for trespassing and probably disorderly conduct. I used a firm tone and he got the idea. He then walked outside the store and stood by the door. I told him to keep moving and he replied, “You said I had to leave the store and I did. You didn’t say anything about going any farther.”

So, I did for him what I used to do for my kids when they were younger, I gave him until the count of three to remove himself from the property or I was going to arrest him. When I got to two, he said, “This is BS,” but he actually said the words and not the abbreviation. He then threw the 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew straight up into the air.

I looked at him and said, “If that bottle comes down, you are going to jail.”

To quote Sir Isaac Newton, the English physicist and mathematician, “What goes up must come down.” And it did. The 2-liter plastic bottle of Mountain Dew hit the pavement with a splat. It almost exploded on impact. And he was gone.

The hemorrhoid, because now he was really a pain in my rear, took off running westbound down E. Huron Avenue. As mentioned earlier, he was 6 foot, 6 inches tall. Most of that was legs. And he ran fast. Long strides. He was also about 150 pounds. Most of that was mouth. Before I could react, he was about 40 yards away and running.

Knowing that I couldn’t catch him in a footrace, I ran to my patrol car and pursued him. I called dispatch to let them know what was going on and that I was in pursuit traveling west on E. Huron Avenue. And he kept running on the road.

Well lucky for me, Mr. Preparation H was fast, but he lacked stamina. After four blocks of running down the road, he stopped and laid on the sidewalk. And being true to my word, I arrested him and he went to jail. And I said to myself after this happened, “What in the world was this knucklehead thinking?” All he had to do was leave.

No regrets. Apparently the ex-boyfriend did not get that message when he was growing up. I guarantee you he had many regrets the next morning when he had to bond out of jail and appear in court.

I think it is pretty simple. We will all eventually have some regret in our lives. But we can strive for “no regrets.” We can make intelligent, well informed decisions. If we approach life with a smile, a positive attitude and a clear head we can limit the number of regrets that we will face in our life time. Life is way too short to be a hemorrhoid.

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