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Today is your lucky day. You get three wishes, granted to you by The Daily Post. What are your three wishes and why?

Money. I would like more money, particularly of my own 1) to buy my sister a house, and 2) to travel and spend more time in other countries living like the “natives” do — particularly Italy and Spain. I’d like to be fluent in Spanish, the basics of which I have learned, and I’d like to learn Italian, including the hand gestures.

A long, healthy life. I don’t want a long life if I’m stricken with something terrible (which could happen in an instant as I’ve seen it happen with others). I’d like to see my grandchildren grown, to see the sum of influences and learning blossom. While children are growing you see clues as to what they might be like, but it isn’t until they are adults that you see the fruits of your labors, and get the fuller picture of the kind of person they become.

Since I didn’t have my first child until I was 30, like my oldest daughter, I doubt I’ll live to see great-grandchildren. But that’s okay, I’ve “seen the torch passed to a new generation”, and I like what I’m witnessing. It’s only when you have grandchildren that you get the sense of continuity of life that fulfills one’s desire for earthly eternity. While my genes get diluted with every generation, I’m still there and some day hence, someone will have my eyes or nose, or particular love of history or writing. My daughter has her great-great uncle’s nose, as witnessed in one very old photo. Go figure. There’s nothing terrible about it, but it does have a peculiar little twist in the bone structure which isn’t noticeable until you look for it.

My desire for relatively good health ’til the end is also prompted by the fact that my mother had dementia and wasn’t with us mentally for her last 5 years, and my otherwise kind yet strong grandmother started showing signs of Alzheimer’s at about my age (thank God, I haven’t), and survived for perhaps another ten years until she was another kind of person altogether. Not nice.

The health and money will keep me from ever being a burden to my kids. My mother, especially, didn’t have enough money (her husband died at 42), and she was totally dependent on my kind sister and her husband, who cared for her well. While each or all of my children would do that for their parents, I don’t want them to have to do it.

I’m extremely concerned about the political situation in this country. I lived through the turbulent 50’s and 60’s and witnessed the rise of Dr. Martin Luther King’s movement and the move toward racial equality. I saw the courage of the people who put themselves up front, in the line of fire — whether it was gunshots, screamed racial epithets and vituperative hatred, and physical and mental abuse. I saw the first black children go to integrated schools, and teens to universities. I don’t want to see racism rise again, and I fear we have a president and others of color who seem to want to continue the race war. I don’t know why… we’ve made good progress; it will never be perfected in everyone, but opportunities are more or less equal depending on education, experience, and self-determination.

I also fear that we have moved much too far away from the Constitution and the intents of its framers. Of course times have changed, but the tenets laid down in that document are timeless, and were put there for a reason. Some of those reasons are becoming apparent. Our government is too big. It is no longer for the people — it is a weight placed upon the people. There are more laws than could possibly be enforced, and legislation still waiting to be codified (like The Affordable Care Axe — which is changed at the will of the president, unconstitutionally).

Liberty and freedom, particularly first Amendment rights, are being trampled. Free expression is seen as not politically correct and is people are attacked daily for stating their beliefs or opinions.

I love my country, but fear for its future. This diminution of the Constitution cannot continue; the tangle of red tape and unreasonable laws, the interjection of the government in our daily decisions and right to free enterprise, must be ended and the right of individuals to fully live their lives and independently determine their destinies must be reinstated.

There, my three wishes: 1) more of my own money to fulfill my personal desires; 2) continued good health by the grace of God; and 3) a unified Constitutionally governed country with patriotic, positive, idealistic, and honest leadership.