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Regrets and Moments

Like most people I walk this earth with many regrets. Drinking a soup before it had time to cool down; stepping on what I thought was wet pine cone; buying waterproof camera housing on the internet. Some regrets are much more pronounced and have long lasting consequences.

My mother passed away last month. I can never get used to that no matter how many times I say it. Sorting out her apartment my sister found mom’s journals. At first glance they are quite boring and mundane. A great deal of it was a surprisingly scientific daily account of her bowel movements. I hope by the time I become a senior citizen they would have an App for that.

Among the roughs I found some diamonds, so I clawed the rest of her journals out of the recycling bin. Reading her familiar handwriting, regrets I have much. I wish I paid more attention to her feelings; I wish I gave her more emotional comfort; I wish I said more ‘thank you’; I wish I said more ‘I love you’; l wish I read out loud every card she ever wrote me and hugged her and kissed her for them; I wish I never got angry with her; I wish I never cancelled a get-together; I wish I never allowed people to come in-between us; I wish I had more courage to fight for her. I wish, I wish, I wish, I wish…

What was also very clear was what her life was composed of? Her life is made up of moments. Her son buying and bringing her Chinese groceries was a moment; Son taking her to Tobermory was a moment; eating roasted leg of lamb; getting Mother’s Day flowers; landlord painting the bathroom; getting a colon exam…

We remember the peaks, the pits, the beginnings and the endings. All other events are kind of fillers. So there are a few of takeaways for me: 1) pay attention to life’s little and big moments. 2) Strive to create powerful and positive moments for the people in our lives. 3) if we can focus and remember the peak moments then we are in a position to welcome more.

My mom and I fished here. Last time she caught a nice bass. A precious moment forever.

Our saving grace in the endless pit of regrets is that people rarely remember what you didn’t do. They always focus on what you did accomplish. Those are the best and lasting moments. Those are the things that truly matter. Those are what we call life. If we did our personal best we can simply breath out and be thankful.

Losing my dear mother made me a more sensitive, sympathetic, loving and compassionate person. The fact is I would give up all these in a heartbeat if I can have my mother back. If I could choose I would forego all the gains in personal growth and life insights and have my mother back at her apartment, only a phone call and a seven minute drive away. But I cannot choose…

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  1. My dear and valuable son in law Zeng,
    I am so proud of you and very great full that you have come into our lives sharing every miligram of your character and intelligence.
    I am also extremely pleased to have shared time with your mother and I felt lucky to have been close to her even though I only knew her for a couple of years.
    You must know that she still loves you and she is not a phone call away anymore. All you have to do is close your eyes and talk to her because she is inside you wherever you go.
    You may not have your mom physically and that is difficult to accept and get use too but you will always have her love and every caring thought she shared with you from birth to adulthood.
    Most importantly now you have Toby’s love and such a beautiful smart daughter to raise and be proud of everyday to help heal daily pains.
    Cheers !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Luc once again for heartfelt comments. I do treasure every memory and every lesson I learned. Moving on is hard but we all must look forward and continue the good fight.


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