There are times in our lives that we can look back with regret. Perhaps we wish we could take back something we said or did; perhaps we left something unsaid, perhaps we wish we could have done something and now it is too late.
“If given the opportunity, what would you go back and rewrite?”
I appreciate the way this question is worded as it implies that our story includes choice. Perhaps there is a wrong that can be righted, or we can set a goal in relation to a regret. Mine is one that fits into the “too late,” category, but still brings to me a valuable lesson.
Every summer since his retirement, my father would spend time in his home town in Cadillac, Abitibi. Although my mother would join him for part of that time, he would go for most of the season as he was very drawn to the simple life of a trailer by the water, fishing daily. For two years, he mentioned to my sister and I that we should come up together to spend a week – no kids or husbands, just us. I don’t really know why we didn’t make it happen – I can guess that it had something to do with short, busy summers, trying to also fit in our family vacation to Maine, my father’s way of ‘mentioning’ something without clearly asking it. I can distinctly remember a conversation that my sister and I had intimating that we would plan it for “next summer,” as we knew, that in his quiet way, it was important to him. Unfortunately, we never got the chance as he passed away the following May.
I can’t rewrite this part of my story. I sorely wish I had those memories of seeing my father where he was the most content, time spent on his boat, campfires, battling the bugs of northern Quebec – but I don’t. I was reminded instead that we can’t let life get in the way, most things can wait and that our relationships are what need time and attention – for it is within those relationships, and time spent together, that we experience the richness of our story.
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Photo credit: Me! A young pic of my Dad 🙂