Whenever I come back to my hometown of Montreal, I am presented with elements of my past, opportunities and relationships lost and found, decisions made – and some made for me – and always I can’t help but think: “What if?”.  If you had that ubiquitous second chance time machine, what would you change?  Would you fight a little harder those battles lost, or cut bait on some of the ones you actually won which, in hindsight, weren’t the victories you assumed them to be?

I really have no cause for complaint.  I’m quite happy with the way it all turned out.  I’m happy.  But, after days like yesterday, I can’t help but wonder: “Could I have been happier?”

Anyway, that’s a question for the Alternate Universe episode of my life.   In other news…

My mother’s house lost power Friday night and, by late last night, it still hadn’t been restored.  I went to the Hydro Quebec site, input her address, and got the following results:

May 6, 2018: And That’s A Wrap On Montreal!

For those who don’t French, it says she can expect to have power restored sometime between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9th.


I reached out to Hydro Quebec via a “WTF?!” tweet and they responded, assuring me that it would be well before Wednesday.  Still, with my return flight to Toronto scheduled to depart Monday at 2:00 p.m., I decided to give it until noon today at which point, if power wasn’t restored, I’d have to cancel my flight and rebook for later in the week.

As it turns out, power was restored at roughly 1:00 a.m. this morning, meaning mom can now have milk with her morning coffee and I’ll be able to return home, as planned, to reunite with my gals.  And complete delivery on that revised first draft!

14 thoughts on “May 6, 2018: And that’s a wrap on Montreal!

  1. I am happy to hear power was restored to moms house, we have to re- learn life stuff when we are without power, I am not sure I could have been a pioneer, they were very courageous and resourceful. safe journey home! The gals are awaiting your return!

  2. Alternative life branches have always held fascination for me. I can’t tell if certain paths would have turned out more rewarding emotionally. I know changing things would create havoc/erase on every single thing I have now. I what if my selections all the time.
    The only exchange I want to redo for certain, and I don’t think it would mess up the timeline too much, is I would answer the phone one evening where I could have and didn’t. It was late, I was tired, the machine picked up the call. It was my grandmother…”Honey, would you call me please? I want to tell you something.” Exhausted, new mom me, said, “I’ll call her in the morning.”
    I never got a chance to speak with her again. She had a stroke that night and well, we never know when the last time is.

  3. Wasn’t it wonderful when the lights came back on? Like returning to civilization again. Glad you were there for your mom in her hour(s) of darkness. And glad your week otherwise went well. Now let’s go home and see how Lulu is and how excited Suji will be to see you again. Make sure Akemi videos the reunion…. please.

  4. Am sure your girls will be more than thrilled to have you back home again.
    Safe flight back.
    Warmest soothing hugs for poor Lulu.
    Hope her ear is better soon. xo
    Glad to hear your moms power was restored sooner rather than later.
    It was good that you were there for her during this.
    Lengthy black outs can leave one feeling a bit emotionally isolated
    when there is no around to talk with.
    I’m sure it made it a bit more bearable.
    Keeping my fingers crossed for ya on the work front.

  5. I try not to play the “what if?” thing. I find it only leads to sorrow and regret and nothing can be done about the past. I figure it could always have been happier, but it could also have been a whole lot more tragic!

    Glad the power came back!

  6. Safe trip back home Joe.

    Being without power SUUUUCKS! We lost it during that last bad snow/ice storm in February, for three days. Luckily our pipes didn’t freeze. But we sure did.

  7. Electricity and plumbing are the sum of human accomplishment, really..
    Hard not to think of the what if’s in life – Stephen Hawking’s last paper suggests that it’s very likely happening in some alternate U

  8. I’ve considered the second chance time machine carefully. Sure, there’s mistakes I’d like to have avoided, but my current happiness stems from such a random happenstance crossing of paths that I surely could not make it happen again.

    But what are the conditions of the second chance? Obviously you retain all current knowledge and memory or it isn’t a second chance. Do you go back and guide your younger self? Does your younger self listen to the wise stranger or ignore them? Do you slip into the body of your younger self? Do you get to choose? I can’t imagine being six or seven and knowing everything I know now. Eight o’clock bedtime? Seriously, mom? Older, and people will think you’ve gone mad, unless you can find a time with a break away from the familiar. Too close to the present and it is a little futile, unless you can avoid something catastrophic. My optimal “insertion” point would be at age 16, returning back from Iran alone to live with my aunt while my parents stayed overseas for tax reasons. Aunt and cousins didn’t really know me, and I’d have time to get the hang of the 70s again before my parents returned. Right before I was an incredibly gullible and dumb teenage girl.

    Rules, I need ground rules of second chance time travel!

  9. Hello Joseph,

    I wanted to let you know the love for DM still continues even though this summer there won’t be a new season.

    I wanted to produce at least 1 season of a DM radio drama and I was hoping to get your permission before we continue, you can check out the plans here:



    We’re doing this for the simple fun, and because we’re fans of Dark Matter, not for money. If you decline, I’ll adapt it to as an original creation.

  10. Looking back has always been my personal Waterloo, since my parents passed my sibs and I have spent WAY too much time rehashing the past only to end each convo with “…of course we can’t change it but…” It’s been therapeutic but also frustrating, the outcome doesn’t change.

    I force myself to look forward and fix what I can now. I regret having energy vampire friends in the past (break up or don’t break up with that street musician, leave me out of it). So now I spend more time with family and trimmed my friends list way down.

  11. Lights on. Smoked meats eaten. Reading. Writing. And the most important thing…quality time with mom! Safe travels back home.

  12. Glad the power was back on before you had to leave.

    As far as regrets, I do have one that happened in 1990 that I was lucky to have gotten away alive. I do also regret choosing to have Patrick with a midwife. If I had gone to a hospital, they would have performed a C-section on me and Patrick might not have sustained a brain injury because of lack of oxygen. That is a decision that haunts me still. It is not that midwives are not a great option, but this particular one made very bad decisions. It would not have changed the autism diagnosis, but he would not have the hypotonic cerebral palsy that he got from that lack of oxygen.

    There were things that happened to me of which I had no control when I was younger, but consider this. I was kicked out of my abusive home when I was 14. After bouncing around to relatives and a friend’s family, I ultimately ended up in a not-so-great foster home in NY. However, there I met my friend Patty who has been my best friend since that time. In 1990 when I was up in NY for another friend’s wedding but at the end of my visit, Patty begged me on my last night to go out with her. She wanted me to meet her boyfriend’s best friend, Jeff. We did and 2 years after that we got married and have been married 25 years now. If things hadn’t happened the way they did, I would have never met Patty. Also the inner strength I found to get through all those years I believed prepared me for Patrick. I would go through that all over again.

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