“The past may or may not be a foreign country. It may morph or lie still, but its capital is always Regret, and what flushes through it is the grand canal of unfledged desires that feed into an archipelago of tiny might-have-beens that never really happened but aren’t unreal for not happening and might still happen though we fear they never will. And I thought of Ole Brit holding back so much, as we all do when we look back to see that the roads we’ve left behind or not taken have all but vanished. Regret is how we hope to back into our real lives once we find the will, the blind drive and courage, to trade in the life we’re given for the life that bears our name and ours only. Regret is how we look forward to things we’ve long lost yet never really had. Regret is hope without conviction, I said. We’re torn between regret, which is the price to pay for things not done, and remorse, which is the cost for having done them. Between one and the other, time plays all its cozy little tricks.”
― André Aciman, Enigma Variations
I’ve Come a Long Way Baby!
The other day my 85 year old father, and my 83 year old mother went with us to lunch and then we went on our annual flower haul to K-Drive Greenhouse. They have the most magnificent flowers. I’m always in awe of people who have a green-thumb (like my husband), because I can’t grow a THING. Which is all ok, since with Lupus I shouldn’t be out in the sun. During the summer months I look out my window at people doing their lawns, and gardening, feeling like a small child not being allowed to go outside to play.
When we got to the greenhouse, we grabbed our carts. I used mine like a walker, leaning against it as I gazed up at all the hanging flowers, taking in the sweet scents all around me. We were having a wonderful time. Mom and hubs were all over the place, and Dad and I were trailing behind, lol. At times Dad and I would find a bench to sit on and rest. And, any time Mom and hubs stopped; we’d sit, to rest and catch our breath. I got 3 phone calls from Dr’s while we were there. One telling me that I needed to come in for a test to see if my Gallbladder is indeed Hydropic. Another telling me that I needed to have an echocardiogram because I’m not getting enough oxygen to my lungs, and another to set up my hospital appointments. I was so exasperated. I was finally having a day outside of my house (which I’m in 90% of the time), with family, and surrounded by beauty… and I get more potentially unwelcomed news.
We purchased all of our flowers and put them in the back of the Tahoe, and as Mom and hubs went to take the carts back, Dad and I sat on the tailgate talking. I glanced over at Mom and hubs and noticed my 84 year old momma… she was walking without a care in the world. Her sweet body kept up with hubs with no problem at all. I’m in awe of her and her energy. She is still so active, and continually on the go. I have to admit that I said a quick prayer asking God, “Why?” Why can’t I be healthy? Why isn’t it me pushing that cart for my momma? I added a, “I’m too young for all this crap!” As we drove off toward home, I was still talking with God. About my upcoming test, about not having a cure for Lupus, blah, blah, blah. Feeling quite sorry for myself, I started crying. Sobbing actually.
For me, that’s a big deal, but the tears wouldn’t stop! I like to stay positive, hold things inside, and “pretend I’m ok” … even when I’m in severe pain. I kicked myself in the pants when I got home, telling myself that I probably upset my aging parents. I quickly called them and left a message on their recorder apologizing for spilling my pent up emotions all over them. In which my mom called me back telling me that I can cry on her shoulder anytime. She told me she loved me, and that she wished she could make me all better. She told me that she’d always be here for me.
I love my momma and daddy.
She told me all the same things she used to say when I was a baby-girl crying from a bad dream. Or a young tyke who fell off her bike and skinned her knees. Mothers don’t change. They love us always, we’ll always be their child, even when we’re 51 years old; like me.
That night I opened my Bible during my nightly devotion time and was quickly reminded to count my blessings. I was reminded that I’m living in a broken world, but in heaven it will be beautiful. When I’m in heaven there will be no more chronic pain, no more health battles, no more sadness, and/or guilt. Presently, I can look back on my life and feel homesick for what once was. Or I can look back with regret. I can live my days with no passion, as if I still have a lifetime to find my purpose; but I don’t, “we don’t”. The time spent on this earth is short. Regardless if we pass as an infant or we’re 100 years old. It’s a snapshot in time. We blink and it’s gone. It doesn’t matter what my life was like when I was young, or what it will be like when I’m old, because today is all I have. Just today. If tomorrow comes, it’s a gift.
We can hear this over-and-over again, but I believe we only get that lightbulb moment when something is taken from us that we can never get back. Our health, a parent, a child, etc. We have absolutely no control over it, but God does. And, I know He has my back, and I know if you follow Him, that He has yours too.
Thus, I’ve Come a Long Way Baby! Why? Because that one little set-back threw me into action (as much action as I can have). If I could have jumped in the air, or did a happy dance, I would have! I’m going to learn a new way to live! Yes! Big lightbulb moment! After devotions and thanksgiving to God… ideas started imploding my brain. I keep looking into the past waiting to get healthy enough to do all the things I used to do. Instead of living and doing what I’m able to do now. I’m still here, so I obviously have a purpose. I had to ask myself, what can I do? Well, I can talk about healthy eating, and my new eating program. I can do crafts for short periods of time. On my good days I can organize and clean for an hour or so. The thing is, I can do things for short periods of time, as long as I rest in between, and sometimes I have to rest all day long. BUT, each day, I’m still going to dream, still set goals, and still live out my purpose, until God calls me home.
My newest adventure is YouTube. I created a channel called Cozy.Ever.After (please don’t go to it yet, lol) I’m in the middle of trying to find a good video editor, in which I finally found one that I’m understanding… but that’s after some TERRIBLE videos. [Correction: that editor isn’t letting me upload to YouTube, I’m getting exasperated. If any of you know a good video editor, please lmk 🤓] I think I’ve done about six… and as bad as they are, I’m keeping them on there. Because that’s the only way I can learn. It will show people my age that anyone can do something new and learn as they go. We shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes or looking dumb. Because we only have today.
Is there something you can do today that will help you work toward a goal? Even if it’s just a small thing? I urge you to open yourself up to failure, or fear. We only have so much time in this life to live out our purpose, to live our passion, and to aspire to what God has put on our heart. Don’t let anything stop you, my friends.
I love you all, and God bless