At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test,
not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal.
You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.
–Barbara Bush, Commencement address,
Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, June 1, 1990.
William O. Foss, First Ladies Quotations Book
When I was a child my father moved us (mom, sister, me) to Virginia where we all still reside. He moved us here for his career and I hated him for it. Not only did I have to leave behind my beloved horse but my grandparents as well. The result of that move was that I didn’t spend much time with my grandparents. We only traveled back twice a year – once in the summer and at either Christmas or Thanksgiving. I missed out on some important time spent with them.
My maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother died while I was still in school so I didn’t know them as well as I did their spouses. When I was working and on my own I spent every summer vacation at my maternal grandmother’s. I was fortunate to know her fairly well but my inexperience as an adult didn’t provide the wisdom to know how fortunate I was and after about 8 years of spending summers with her I wanted to be an adult and take an ‘adult vacation’ – so I missed the last few years she was alive. I regret not seeing her when I could.
My father moved his father up to Virginia during the last few years of his life and promptly put him in a nursing home. While he was here I saw him almost every weekend, but again, I didn’t relish the limited time I had with him. I regret not seeing him as often as I could.
Now, almost 30 years on, I see my mother twice a week and sometimes I resent it; but then I remind the selfish me that she will one day go Home (hopefully not for a long time) and I don’t want to regret that I spent my days in selfishness rather than see her.
Time is short. Lives are short. Hopefully age and regrets have taught me to mark the days and take advantage of what little time I have with my mother. And with the rest of my family.