Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 5: A favorite Quote

One of my favorite quotes comes from John Greenleaf Whittier.
For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: "It might have been"

I watched a video many years ago of my wedding reception.  People came through my line, and I hugged and loved on many friends and family.  My grandpa came through, and unbeknown to me at the time, I shook his hand and turned away from him looking for the next person in line. 
I cried watching this clip.
My Grandpa was not a hugely affectionate person. He had a stern personality, but I never wanted to lose him without his not knowing how much I truly loved him. 
I made it up to him before died.
I visited more often.
I hugged and kissed him each time I saw him after that. 
But what if I hadn't seen that video?

At one point in my life I had 3 young children, ages 6, 3 and a newborn.  Life had boiled down to a series of tasks.  Laundry, dishes (with no dishwasher), vacuum, baths, diapers, mow, dishes (again), garden, dinner, etc.  
I just wanted an hour to myself to sew or whatever. 
I wished they would be old enough to entertain themselves for an hour.
Well... I wished, and my wish came true.
They were toddlers no more.
Fast forward 14 years.
I have a 3 year old, and I see remnants of the toddlers that I once took for granted. 
Every day that passes I breathe her in.  
I smell her hair. 
We cuddle.
I tickle her face.
We read books. 
I hold her in the shower.
We sit on the heater and watch movies.
Sometimes my laundry gets to wait while I love on her.
Dinner sometimes gets to be made from a box so we can play blocks.

I do my best to make up those moments with my kids... but its a bit more difficult with a bunch of teenage boys. But we cook, play games, and spend time together that would have gone unnoticed had I not had a 3 year old to remind me what I took for granted.

I mourn the days that I lost with my little ones because I was too caught up in "being productive".
I won't let "what might have been" haunt me.
I've been trying to intervene.  
To find things that I might regret someday and make a difference now.
I'm sure there are things I'm not aware of... I'll tackle those as they come.


Julie L said...

Oh, wow, Tonia, this hits too close to home. Great reminder to not wish away our time. I have so been there and done that, and can not believe how fast our time is gone, and there is no longer an opportunity to pull it back.

Great quote, great thoughts. We can never change the past, only learn from it.

Nathan and Shanna said...

Wow, those too hit close to what I did and find myself still doing. Thanks for sharing so that I can remember to "stop and smell the flowers!"

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