Looking into my life mirror, the reflection that presents itself is positive. My main regret is that I did not spend more time with my mother during the last days of her life. That one can still bring me to tears. I would do it over, if I only could.
A second regret is that I didn't have more children. Oh, the one child I have is near perfection, in my not so humble opinion, but one more would have been so wonderful. Easy enough to do, one might think. However, the complication was that I needed a newhusband to father baby #2. Unfortunately, I had become a young widow shortly after my daughter was born so the hoped for second child would require a new daddy; and, in my mind, that would mean a wedding. It wasn't easy to just have a baby in the 60s since giving birth out of wedlock was a scandalous super no-no and always considered a mistake, never a deliberate act, as is often the case today. So, a wedding was required; and I now knew that being madly in love, hormones flowing, was not enough. I needed to find a man who had his feet on the ground and substance in his soul.
My very wise mother taught me that lesson. I vividly recall sitting in her kitchen as a young bride expounding on how I loved being married to a man who really rode the roller coaster of life. As she calmly flipped the pancakes with her spatula, she looked at me and said with a wry smile, "Talk to me in ten years." I, of course, knew it all and wondered how she could be so negative. The ten years never came for Mom and me or for my marriage. Death interfered in both cases.
It didn't take long for me to grasp the meaning of Mom's statement. I got it immediately when my husband, driving recklessly, missed a sharp curve and died alone riding that cerebral roller coaster that he so worshipped. Lesson learned. Don't marry the man with the lampshade on his head!
After taking a few years off to grieve and get my mental act together, I entered the dating circus. I had a grand time, but I was unable to find THE new and improved husband #2. I fell in love... more than once; but I was resolved to not walk down that aisle again unless I felt sure it was right for me and for my daughter. Well, long story short, it never was. Close, yes; but there was always some missing major element. If the marvelous sense of humor was there, so was the erratic behavior. If the good job was there, so were the psychotic undertones. If the love of life was there, the work ethic was missing. I just sucked at finding a husband. So I changed my course and decided to go it alone, a huge step for me. Eureka! I could make it without a man. Who knew?
The single life was so right for me, and I flourished. The only little cloud was to be...no baby #2, my second regret; but, here's the thing, I would not change the choices I made or the way I behaved. I guess that makes for a very half-hearted regret, doesn't it? I chose my path. So...it appears that I really have only one regret afterall: not being with my mother as she was dying. OK...back to that.
When I reflect, I would love a do-over; but that's a fantasy so, instead, I have to bite the reality bullet and just live with it. The only thing that makes it a tiny bit easier is that, thanks to the joys of morphine, Mom believed I actually was at her bedside. She called my sister-in-law, who was present with my brother, by my name. I like thinking that she thought I was there when, in fact, I was clear across the country changing diapers and trying to be the good wife. Talk about being torn, ripped in half. Hindsight: I wish I had packed up my new babe and let my immature husband fend for himself. I made the wrong decision.
My life mirror continues to expand, and I am liking the new
relections that I see. When my mirror gets fogged up from time to time as I make mistakes, I try to learn from them. I just keep plugging away, trying to do my best. Life is such a grand adventure.