Monday, June 23, 2014

Living Without Regrets



My Daddy,
Carroll Thibodeaux




“Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation, one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever? If so, then you know you can go your whole life collecting days, and none will outweigh the one you wish you had back.” 
― Mitch AlbomFor One More Day



My parents and my grandparents all lost way too many people they loved way too soon.  Because of their losses, they learned how important it was to treat those you love like there is no tomorrow.  Luckily for me, they raised me to do the same.  Sadly, I lost most my father and my grandparents way too soon.  The most difficult loss was the loss of my father who died when I was only twenty.  It was sudden and unexpected. There was no time to say goodbye, no time to prepare for life without him. I miss my grandparents and my father every day, but I find comfort in knowing that they knew how much I loved them.  If I didn't truly believe that they knew how much I loved them, I don't think that I could live with the regret and the grief.  The grief is far too painful on its own.

Rules that I was taught to live by:

  • Dont' assume that you have time to show those you love how much they mean to you because they can be gone in the blink of an eye.  
  • Friends are important, but your parents and grandparents are the ones who love you more than you can possibly understand.  You don't realize their impact on your life until you can't pick up the phone and call them or drive over to their house and see them.  
  • Don't ever end a conversation without saying, "I love you."
  • When your parents and grandparents get sick, take care of them and spend every minute that you can with them.  They WILL NOT always be there when you have more time for them.  Make time now.
  • Ask yourself these questions: If you never had another day with them, have you said everything you wanted to say? Have you shown them how much they mean to you?
I was anything but a perfect daughter and granddaughter.  I got good grades and I didn't get into A LOT of trouble, but I went through a rebellious stage just like most teenagers. However, I always remembered these lessons that were instilled in me from a young age.  When my grandmothers were ill and in the hospital, I would spend the night with them so that they didn't have to be alone.  I never ended a conversation with my parents or grandparents without telling them that I loved them.  I asked them questions about their childhoods and listened to their stories with genuine interest. I never let them feel like they were a burden when they asked me for my help. I spent every holiday with them, and I did not let anything stop me from spending time with them. Time is the greatest gift that we can give those we love.  When they are gone, we don't regret a single minute that we spent with them.  We only wish that we had just one more day, one more hour, one more chance to say, "I love you and you mean the world to me.  Thank you for loving me."

The love that I shared with my father and my grandparents still carries me on my dark days.  I still feel them guiding me when I feel lost and alone.  Sometimes my father guides me in very obvious ways.  The sadness that I feel when I cannot drive to my grandmother's house and just spend the day watching television with her or when my grandbaby smiles and I so want my father to see her will never go away.  However, I find great comfort in knowing that they never doubted my love while they walked this Earth and as they left it behind.  I thank God every day that I told them how much I loved them every day and, more importantly, that I showed them.




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