Not too long ago, I was talking to a couple of people about "do-overs" - you know, something you might do differently in life if you could go back. One spoke about thinking she would have chosen a different career path. When I thought about what I would "do-over" I didn't think about college or a career or anything like that. My "do-overs" all include relationships w/ family or friends.
After my grandpa had his second stroke he was, basically, a prisoner in his own body. He couldn't move and he couldn't speak, but he was, completely, aware of everything that was going on around him. He lived that way for 16 months before dying in 1995. During those 16 months, I would visit him from time to time, but I never really talked to him because it was uncomfortable to have a one-sided conversation since he couldn't speak. I was in my early twenties and I was immature so I didn't realize what he needed, but, today, 15 years later, I know he needed and wanted that one-sided conversation. He could still hear and he would have loved too listen to me talk...about anything, but I didn't and I regret that. I wish I had told him what a wonderful man I thought he was. I wish I had told him how I LOVED when I came over to his house he would scoot up to the front of his recliner so he could sit up straight and lean forward and really listen and hear everything we had to say - he would sit that way for the entire visit. I wish I had told him that I never forgot the Christmas he pulled me aside to give me a special gift and he said, "Don't tell the others, this is just for you. I love you". I wish I had told him alot of things.
My uncle was only about 12 years older than me - he was my mom's younger brother. After I quit college, I moved back to my hometown and I spent alot of time w/ Bruce. I enjoyed that time - we'd go out to eat, we'd take rides on his motorcycle...stuff like that. I was in a bad place in my life at the time, but he made it easier just by being around. Years later, he married someone that no one was too fond of and, so, I kind of avoided him after that because I didn't want to he around his wife. I wish I had handled things differently. I wish I had been more supportive. I wish I had told him how wonderful he was for adopting her grandchildren and loving them as his own. I wish I had told him how grateful I was for the time he spent with me. He's gone now, and it's too late. I hate that he left not knowing how much I loved him.
I wish I had spent more time w/ my grandma when she was alive. I always thought there was time....I was wrong.
I wish I had tried harder to bond w/ Aubree after we brought her home. She pushed me away so much - she pushed and she pushed. It was so hard to deal with, but she was a baby and I was the adult - I should have had the strength to do more but I didn't know how. I still worry about how that may have affected her.
I wish I had said the "I love yous" and given the hugs instead of just waiting and hoping for them.
I wish I had been a better friend to a few people - they deserved more from me.
I wish I had shared how much it affected my life...my WHOLE life.
I could go on, but you get the idea!
I try to live life differently now so that 2, 5, or 10 years from now I won't feel the need for "do-overs". I'm trying to do better, and that's all I can do.