What is it about regrets that keeps me up at night? The feeling of regret has more power over our well being than we give it credit for. On January 22nd my grandmother passed away. She lives in Pennsylvania and the last time I made the trip to see her was in 2007. I was in college and it was during spring break that I made the 20 hour drive with family to Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.
This is where regret creeps in and begins to take hold. Often times we will have grandiose plans to do something, and they sound wonderful, but then life happens. I was accepted into grad school in Denver, Colorado and moved there following College. I met my wife soon after that, and within a year we were married. 2 years after that we had our first child, and 2 more children since. We moved to Oklahoma in 2011 to join the police force, and was consumed by that for the first 2 years on the job.
This is the problem. We allow too much room for excuses in life. When Amber and I were married we had set a goal of traveling to Pennsylvania so she could meet my grandmother, and everyone else on that side of my family. Then life happened again, so we postponed. Life. Postpone. Life. Postpone. You get the point.
Once we began having children it became even more difficult to travel. A child over 2 years old requires their own seat on a plan, meaning you are paying for it, and we could not afford it. The other option was to drive the 20 hours with little kids, and that has its own many challenges
It was in the summer of 2017 that we began this journey to bliss full force. Amber and I sat down and came up with a list of goals for 2018, one of them being to make the drive to see my grandmother. On November 2nd we called my grandmother to wish her a happy birthday. During this conversation we reminded her of our plans for come see her so she could meet amber and our 3 children for the first time. Our plan was to make the trip during the Spring of 2018.
Then life happened again…
My grandmother was having a routine pre-op surgery on her heart. During the procedure she pulled away from the doctor and tore an artery. She passed away later that evening. It was unexpected.
As you can probably tell by now, regret has found its way into this story. When we allow too much room in our lives for excuses why not to do something, you will ultimately find yourself regretting making them in the first place.
This isn’t to say that excuses can often be righteous and warranted depending on the season of life.
When life allows you an opportunity, make room for action, rather than an excuse why you shouldn’t act. Our well being fluctuates during our lives. I believe that if we start acting more, and make fewer excuses, we will be privileged to have more positive experiences that will set the tone for a life full of bliss.
When it comes to my grandmother, I do have regrets. I regret not acting on one of the many opportunities we had to go see her and spend time with her. I regret not calling her more often. I regret not sending more letters with pictures of my family. I regret not having a chance for my grandmother to meet her great grand children.
I have regrets. But I also have joy. I am joyful that my grandmother is in a better place. I am joyful that one day I will see her again. I am joyful that she is in the arms of our Savior, and will have no more pain, fear, sadness, anger, or regret.
I was blessed to have known my grandmother. JoAnn was a wonderful person, mother, and grandmother. Although I have regrets, they are overcast by joy. And one day, I too, will have no regrets.