Those postcards have very special meaning. I’ll get to that in a moment.
The past month has been difficult, to put it mildly. Don’t get me wrong. I am so very thankful for my life. I still have hope and a bunch of positive energy.
However, it’s been hard to not feel sad, while also taking stock of life.
It all started December 2nd. I did something I never do. I let my dogs out, without first checking where my chickens were. Our beloved Rhode Island Red, Savvy, had flown out of her safe area. One of our dogs got her. My youngest daughter was at home. As we rushed Savvy to the emergency vet, she died on my lap. The vet still tried, but she was gone.
I had so much guilt and regret. Why didn’t I check? It still lives in me.
I hadn’t wanted to write anything. Until now.
Loss of any kind is difficult. Sure, you can compare one to the other, and use logic to say some SEEM worse than others, but loss is loss.
The nation felt loss when news broke George Michael had died. Then, Carrie Fisher. Then, her mom, Debbie Reynolds, on day after Carrie passed. We saw a shocking chain of events that made many pause to reflect.
Closer to home for me, though, possible personal loss first knocked on the door, and then came through from a different direction.
Just a couple of days after Christmas Day, my aunt called from San Diego, to tell us her husband, my wacky, funny Uncle Nick was in the hospital. One day later, we would get a wrenching call from her, saying the doctors didn’t know if he would make it through the day. Their daughter, my cousin, was in Texas. Doctors said to get her home, now. It was dire.
My mom hung up the phone. The room was so silent. We went from hearing my aunt, distressed, in muffled form, on the phone, to complete silence. I was so thankful to have traveled home to see my mom and grandma. I sat still in Grandma’s living room, thinking, “What next?” I truly could only see my aunt and cousin’s faces in my head. When you are a little more than 2,000 miles away, you feel so helpless.
It was a tough day, for sure. You start to take stock of everything surrounding the relationship you have with the person who is fighting for his life. More on that later…
Later that evening, we got a positive update, and now, one week later, he is still in the fight, getting a bit stronger every day. It will take a long time for him to recover.
You may be wondering what happened. Doctors say it seems to have been a perfect storm of events. He got the flu. He had a dog bite on two of his fingers. Those fingers turned black. He has no spleen to help him fight infections. He lost that decades ago in an accident. When I look at all that, I think, at any time, anything can happen. You might not see it coming.
A few days later, on New Year’s Day, a very close friend of mine called. I figured it was to ring in the new year. I had her on speaker right away and sang out, “Happy New Year!” I could hear her crying. Off speaker phone….up to my ear. What happened? Her grandmother had passed that morning. I couldn’t process at first.
Listen, she was 96 years old. She was not in the best health. None of that mattered. I wasn’t going to see her again. In the time I knew “GeGe”, I had adopted her as my own grandmother. I was fortunate to have been able to spend almost every school day, standing outside her car, talking to her for the half hour to 45 minutes we waited in carpool for her great grandkids and my oldest. We talked about everything. Everything. It was a running joke with her granddaughter about how early we would get there to be first and second in line, but if truth be told, I found myself really getting there early so I could talk to her.
When we moved to Memphis, we were all sad. However, GeGe delighted in knowing we were going to live in the area where she lived for so long. She told me about her life in Memphis, and wondered how much it must have changed.
I decided I needed to send her postcards. I bought them anytime I saw them. I then got a book of postcard stamps, and I would send them.
There’s just one problem.
I would often forget to send her one. I mean, she received several. We even sent her postcards during our first ever trip to Orlando. However, I did not send them as often as I had planned. I didn’t send them all. The ones you see in the picture above here are some of what I have left.
What do I do with them?
I have some ideas, but now I need to really get to my point.
I should have sent them all. Really. It’s not about guilt or any wrong-doing. It’s about regret.
Regret is a tricky thing. I, like so many of you, try to live my life without it. I do a pretty decent job, most of the time. I try to “Put My Yes on the Table” for so much of the good in life. My back hurts? Well, my kids want to tell me a long, long, long story about this show they discovered, so I am going to suck it up and listen. No regrets. Well, except my back still hurts.
Yet, here I am living with a bit of regret over unsent postcards.
That’s not all, either.
I know, for a fact, I could have prevented the death of our chicken, Savvy. To some, it may seem like just a chicken. To us, it was the death of a very loved pet. To some, they are all animals, and things like this happen. To me, I was the reason it happened.
Moving forward, I am searching for ways to stop the flow of regret. So the only thing I can do is:
Keep saying “Yes”!
More importantly for all of us is:
That thing you’ve been putting off because you’re busy or keep forgetting to prioritize. The person you keep meaning to call. The postcards you keep meaning to send.
Don’t forget. Put it in your calendar. No matter how silly it sounds, even mailing a postcard can go on your calendar. I actually put more into my calendar now, thanks to GeGe’s granddaughter, who puts just about everything on her calendar!
Knowing you did all you could feels a whole lot better than wishing you would have done more.