Years ago there was a short lived television show, running a promo teaser of a man realizing there would be no more “relations” in his relationship. He had a stunned look on his face and said: “That’s it? If I had known the last time was the LAST time I would have done something fantastic!” Famous “last” words, we all know – all too well.
The past 6 years have literally run over me, and as I thought about it the other day, too many of those “last times” came into focus. Of course we have all lost someone dear to death and those last times are forever in our hearts. Many of us if we are lucky, are truly “loved completely” and therefore have no regrets, only selfish loneliness because the person is no longer in our personal life. By this I mean it is inevitable that we look at a moment, and wish those lost loved ones were near, how they might have enjoyed a certain event, picture or even a meal. However, fantastic regrets are different, they come simply from living your life a little too fast and too distracted and suddenly there is no turning back.
In those lost years, I have become a grandmother twice, a boy and a girl equally spoiled I hope. I have lost some dear friends, including a special niece and my mother, watched a child graduate from college, marry on a mountain top and return to her roots finally content. Along the way however, I lost a lot of me – emotionally, not the 10lbs of unfantastic physical hip related bulge, that is keeping me company as I write. Looking back over those years, I too find myself saying if I had known that was it, I would have made a better choice or given a better first impression or I would have stayed longer or left sooner.
Why does it take a death or shocking experience to bring us to terms with what is right in front of us all the time? Why don’t we understand the need not to wait for a moment, but to unselfishly BE the moment? When you find yourself in a craft room, kitchen or even garage do you ever do something extra? Such a smiling random act of kindness goes a long way. I have found a cool soda, warm coffee or fresh cookie brings my mail hand delivered with a smile and question of “So how is…. today?” A clerk at the gas station once stopped me in delight, saying the $1 scratch ticket I left him bought a $20 lunch and dinner–I always leave a ticket for the clerk when I am able to buy a couple for myself. Ironic though is how we act on moments with casual strangers, but family and close friends who matter the most, end up with that I would have done something fantastic regret.
A famous physic believes we select certain people in our life before beginning our earthly journey and family is something we have no control over and do not have to accept. I can agree to that in part, but some of the best people I know are in my family tree and I hope I give them something fantastic at least once in a while, because it is due to their offerings to me that have made them so important. Not seeing the forest for the family tree is a very appropriate teaser for the untelevised fantastic regret category. Just because someone is right there doesn’t mean they always will be. I had a car accident that hinted just that, with a crash cart in the ER and some nasty scars for me personally. These special people don’t exist just for us, they need reciprocation for resuscitation and if it isn’t there they will go away, and that is no accident!
I regret the last day in my business office, wishing I had kept all the memories and maybe found a way to change the outcome. I miss being a part of the working world like breathing the air around me. I regret the last trip for school clothes and supplies wasn’t more of a memorable experience, looking now at the adult women, who once ran to my shopping cart with hangers of clothes and glue sticks makes me sad. I regret not walking my dog more and running in the park. His labored breathing and graying face make me sad knowing the last day is closer than the first. I regret some truly stupid situations that I let life dictate the outcome, not standing up for what I knew was the right thing to do. But when I think of the people that matter, I only regret we don’t get more time together to continue what we have already treasured and shared.
It is fantastic to love with no regrets, I just need to do it more often..