2. A woman’s touch, female companionship, sex, etc.
3. Eating what I want – curried chicken, chutney, BBQ pork ribs, lemon merengue
4. Going to the gym – lifting weights!
5. Swimming – pools, lakes, ponds, and the ocean, any ocean!
6. Raising a family – having children, wife, in-laws and all that it entails
7. The woods and wildlife, camping and hiking
8. Being connected to and able to visit with my family
9. Concerts – indoor or outdoor
10. Plays, ballets and similar stage performances
11. Normal clothes – pants, maybe even a tie and button down shirt
12. Snow and real cold weather
13. Skiing –downhill only!
14. Going outside at night and seeing the stars
15. Walking in the snow
16. Walking in the rain
17. Working for a paycheck
18. Libraries –especially the hush between the bookshelves
19. Driving – or riding in a car
20. Walking in a straight line for more than a few hundred yards
21. Not being completely dependent on other people
22. Listening to whatever music I want without suffering through commercials
23. Using a computer – Google must be amazing, along with everything else that was developed after 1997!
24. Using a telephone – which means not needing to depend on snail mail.
25. People conversing with me as an equal instead of someone less than.
26. Not hearing the word “inmate”
27. Not being identified as a murderer.
28. Being able to visit the graves of deceased family members and friends
29. Sunday Mass
30. Going anywhere when the urge arises
31. Dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals.
32. Doing anything I want without the limits of an institution schedule.
33. Gradually waking up rather than being awakened by somebody screaming.
34. Human contact from people who care.
35. Walking into a store to purchase things – shopping
36. Eating in a restaurant – all-you-can-eat buffets
37. Being around people I actually like
38. Being able to help friends and family
39. Holiday celebrations
40. The potential for anything out of the ordinary
41. Different scenery, even if it’s blurred trees on a highway
42. The beach—sand, surf, sea creatures, shells and seagulls
43. Riding a bicycle
44. The potential for . . . .anything!
45. Not waking up in prison
I’m sure there are other things I could add to this list, such as all of the things I’ve never experienced, or have yet to experience, but this could go on for a while. Use your imagination, I do every day. What would you miss?