The whole regretting the things you didn't do or say thing is probably the worst, at least in my opinion. At least in my opinion at this moment, any way. What is the worst part of it varies by the hour which is also the worst.
It doesn't consume me, it doesn't rule my every motion and word but I can't tell you that it hasn't changed me in ways that are immense - because it has. I realize now that I've lost my patience with some things, and I've become more determined about other things. Most of those things are selfish but they're also "taking care of me and mine" sorts of things and I'm not going to be sorry about them.
I thought I would talk a little bit about the things I regret. Some of them may seem stupid but I can't help it, I regret them anyway.
- I regret that I never got to take my mom to the two places she always wanted to see. She wanted to see Hawaii and New York City. I always thought that she and I would take a vacation together and maybe April would come, even just a few days, and see those places. I wanted to take her to Tiffany and eat a pastry while we window shopped, having Breakfast at Tiffany's - one of her favorite movies.
- I regret that I was never able to buy my dad a 57 Chevy. I know, that's a big one. But you see when I was a few weeks old my dad sold his cherry 57 Chevy that was a thing he LOVED so much. He sold it to be able to go to Sears and pay cash for a brand new KENMORE washer and dryer so my mom didn't have to lug a baby to the laundry mat. He was a full time student and drove a taxi cab all night. He LOVED that car. I was a colicky baby and they would both tell fond stories of how sometimes the only way they could get me to sleep was to take me for a ride in that car with its loud engine. He never told the story with regret of selling the car. He told it with pride, he didn't regret selling his beautiful car because he'd taken care of his family. I always wanted to give him one, and I never could.
- I regret that I didn't recognize my dads mental illness years ago. It would have impacted how I handled him when he was being crazy and hateful. I wouldn't have lost years of spending time with my parents, I would've just HANDLED him. It's easy to say now that he's dead. I think it would've been harder at that time, with a crazy person screaming "you're dead to me" at me - but somehow my ego thinks I would've handled it. Maybe we could've forcibly gotten him medicated I don't know. But we didn't know, and I lost five years.
- I regret not going home more.
- I regret that my last trip home I didn't just crawl into my mom's bed with her. But she hurt SO much, she was so fragile, I was afraid to hurt her worse. Every touch caused her pain. I didn't face the reality that I would never see her face again, I would never, ever get to hug her again. I wish I had done it. I told her I'd be back soon. "I'll be back soon, I love you." That was the last thing I said to her in person. I was back in a matter of days, for her funeral. I think she knew.
- I regret every day I didn't call her and him. I regret every email I didn't pay enough attention to.
- I regret not appreciating all of the clothes she made me and that I wanted store bought clothes instead. I wish I had them all.
- I regret not wanting to learn how to sew, or knit, or crochet, or do tatting, or any of the other millions of amazing things she could do with her hands.
That's the short list.
As a consequence I'm not going to regret anything I don't have to, going forward. I know they'll always be things undone, unsaid. But it won't be because I didn't try. I feel like many of the items above are simply because I didn't try,I didn't FIGHT.I didn't respect that the universe is on it's own clock and not mine.
But the universe and I, we have an understanding now. I am now fully integrated into the concept of how fleeting everything is, how impermanence is a thing, and how this carbon based life form has to grasp every minute of her days. I'm going to. I want things. I don't want things. I'm gonna do things. I'm gonna spend time with people.
I'm glad I'm going to the grief counselor today. I'm gonna keep going. I need it, and everyone in my life needs me to have this help.
It's going to be a great day. Make it so.