Regret over Loss: The Door to Nowhere

Was it really only yesterday? Feels like it, since I can still hear his rhythmic laughter, and sense his sheepish gaze. We were teenagers in our final year of high school, supposedly looking more at future possibilities than at each other. Little did I know then what I discovered later—that he confided daily to a classmate how much he loved me.

Fifty years have passed. Tomorrow is the big event and he will be there. I will be there too, dealing with regret that we never fully bonded in the love we could have shared. Still, I prefer to lose the regret and free myself to celebrate.

So, for the last time, I push open the old classroom door and begin at the beginning on a short trip down memory lane, to replace regret with resolution, to close the door permanently and move forward.

Photo by McGhiever
Photo by McGhiever | Source

Three Missed Opportunities

(1) In The Classroom

My lack of self-confidence was partly to blame. I interpreted his smiles to mean that he was sociable; not that he liked me in any special way. He was brilliant, handsome, from an upper class family and certainly beyond my social reach, I thought. I regret being so naïve and insecure. I wish I had encouraged him to pursue me.


So much we explored.
So much we explored. | Source

(2) During Summer Vacation

That summer vacation after our high school graduation seemed like the perfect time for us to begin a love relationship. Temporarily free from studies and examinations, we spent time together, driving around for pleasure, visiting recreation spots a sheltered country-girl longed to enjoy. We played, we laughed, we dreamed and still he never mentioned that he loved me.

Being in his company, enjoying his attention made me ecstatic, and had he said those magic words, he would have set a new direction for my life; but he was too shy, he told me later. Those were the days when men took the initiative, and women waited. I regret not knowing then, how to apply the pressure.


(3) At Our First Reconnection

We both migrated from our small island and settled into different lives on different sides of the ocean, without any knowledge of how each other was faring. He became a scientist, serving governments and international companies. I became a wife, a mother, a schoolteacher. Then at our different stations, life hit us hard with crushing disappointments and we both headed home.

We made a joyful reconnection. It was then that he confessed his lifelong love. I felt blessed for receiving a second chance at love and it was my delight to enter into a love relationship with him. It was exciting and promising, but I left home again and the emails did not tell the whole story, neither did they satisfy our needs. How different might our lives had been, if we had taken the time to figure out the best solution to our problem.


My Rival

Finally, I came home to stay. Again we reconnected. We enjoyed the best times we ever had together. We dined, we laughed, we loved. For a short while, it seemed like an opportunity for permanent joy. Then my rival entered the picture.

His illness made its presence felt. Sometimes it took complete control over him and determined his attitude toward me. It confused him and made him unable to love me the way he thought he would when he first loved me back in the classroom. It distracted him and pushed me away.

Our relationship became less smooth, but it remained meaningful and special. Looking back, I regret not trying harder to understand what he was up against—what we were up against. Finally, my rival took him away.

The regrets on my list are many, and they all bring me back to the classroom where it all began; but he is no longer here. He moved on and I was privileged to share a part of his journey. That should fill me with gratitude, not regret. What is clear to me right now is that reopening the door that time has closed is reopening the door to nowhere.


The Celebration

Ten Short Moving-On Quotes

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss

"The heart was made to be broken. - Oscar Wilde

"Sadness flies away on the wings of time." - Jean de la Fontaine

“Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.” - Victoria Holt

“The past always looks better than it was because it isn’t here.” - Finley Peter Dunne

“Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." - Lord Alfred Tennyson

"Come what come may, time and the hour run through the roughest day!" - William Shakespeare

"In three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life: It goes on." - Robert Frost

"When the heart grieves over what is has lost, the spirit rejoices over what it has left." - Sufi Epigram

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.” - Joseph Campbell

Tomorrow turned into today, and the big event for which I prepared was the celebration of his life.

The eulogy resurrected him temporarily, and we walked with him through his early years of promise, into his adult life of contributions and achievements in the areas of music and science. It became obvious that he completed his life’s mission.

"His classmates, friends and professional colleagues remember him as a person with high intellectual potential," one tribute said, "as someone who was kind and helpful to them along the way, as a friend whose genuine interest in their wellbeing extended also to their own family members."

"His brothers remember him as a son who was very devoted to his parents and who loved and supported all the members of his family."

"He was a good guy."

Other tributes proclaimed his loyalty to his family and friends, his generosity, his humor, his positive influence on those he mentored. His was a life worth remembering.

Source

Lullaby: I Bid You Goodnight

The flowers at the graveside sparked with colors of love, hope and joy -- tokens of remembrances from many people with whom he had shared himself. His life had empowered others.

Underneath the flowers, lay the body of a man concerning whom the memories of the time we shared, greatly outweighs the regret of time we never had.

So, I move on contented and grateful--contented that he loved me and grateful that I had the opportunity I had to love him.

© 2015 Dora Isaac Weithers

More by this Author


Comments 80 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

Awww, that was beautiful, Dora. So very creative and emotionally satisfying. What a wonderful twist you took with this prompt. This might be your best work to date, and I'm so grateful you shared it on this challenge. Thank you!


lambservant profile image

lambservant 22 months ago from Pacific Northwest

Dora, what a poignant story. I am sorry for your loss. This precious man is not only a part of your past, but a part of your future, an eternal future. Blessings my friend. This was beautifully written.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks for the challenge, Bill. I tried with so many beginnings to write this story. Your prompt was the perfect fit!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Lori, thanks for your comforting remark. I appreciate your encouragement.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 22 months ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

MsDora, I'm not easily moved to tears, but this made me feel very emotional. The image of you amongst the lovely flowers is so very poignant!

This is sad, yet, very beautiful. Those we love are never truly gone, they live on in out hearts. Did I say you looked stunning?


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks Jo. I'm really trying to portray emotions so you encourage me. Thanks also for the personal compliment; you made me smile.


annart profile image

annart 22 months ago from SW England

What can I say, Dora? Amazing, beautiful and so sad. But you end on an optimistic, grateful note, celebrating the life and the love you shared.

This is a superb response to Bill's challenge.

Ann


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Ann. You're so encouraging. I appreciate you.


sallybea profile image

sallybea 22 months ago from Norfolk

MsDora I love this and once again I see that Billy's challenge has produced yet another beautiful piece of writing, this one.

Thanks for sharing,

Sally.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Sally, thanks for your very kind comment. This was a good challenge.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 22 months ago from southern USA

MsDora, this moved me to tears. Beautifully written and heartrending story of love. Thank you for sharing about this special love in your life and I am so glad you did have some special times in your lives together in love. That photo is just amazing. You are stunningly beautiful inside and out!

I love how you have taken on this challenge and lifted it up to another level and beyond! God bless you lovely lady.

I, too, was so very shy in high school and felt like I did not fit in, and so I was a bookworm. My tricky husband, told me years later, that so many boys were interested in me in high school, yet I had not clue, and thought he was the only boy ever in this world to love me ... so 36 years later, he won! LOL

Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 22 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Excellently done. How truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us. Of course your writing was perfect.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 22 months ago from California

There is so much joy in loving--even in the sadness we feel sometimes--very creative write!


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 22 months ago from The Beautiful South

How beautiful Dora and sad. This to me is your best writing yet. It certainly touched my heart...

^+


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

my goodness that was ... wow.. Msdora i loved it.. and those flowers by the graveside beautiful.... im loss for words


DDE profile image

DDE 22 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Hi MsDora you have greatly approached this challenge and I so enjoyed how you thought of a nice ending. A beautifully written hub with an emotional touch.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 22 months ago from New Delhi, India

What a beautiful response to the challenge!

This story is high on emotions and I don't think it is right to call it sad in the end.

Love is a beautiful feeling and only the fortunate ones can experience it. And it remains in the heart, even if one of the partner leaves.

Excellent piece of writing and beautiful hub! Voted up and shared on HP!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Faith, I love your perspective of your husband winning over all the other boys. He won a treasure. Thanks for sharing your story in addition to your beautiful feedback.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Eric, thank you for such a very kind comment.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Audrey, I couldn't have said it better about "the joy in loving." Thank you.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Jackie, thanks for your observation on my writing. That's so encouraging!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Frank, thanks for your kind words. What you said was plenty!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Devika, I appreciate your feedback. Pleased that you mentioned the emotional touch.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Chitrangada, thanks for your observations on love which I totally accept. No sadness here. You encourage me.


ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 22 months ago from USA

I'm so sorry that you've just lost someone who was almost a lifelong friend.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 22 months ago from Central Florida

This story is sweet yet melancholy, Dora. I love the positive attitude of gratefulness for the time spent rather than regret for time lost.


jhamann profile image

jhamann 22 months ago from Reno NV

A well written and beautiful story thank you. Jamie


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Ologsinquito, thank you. It's getting better.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Shauna. At a "certain age" when friends begin to leave, gratitude for what was, helps to keep one going. Glad you affirm that attitude.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Jamie, what a kind comment. Thank YOU!


mary615 profile image

mary615 22 months ago from Florida

It will be hard to type this comment with all the tears in my eyes. How sad...You wrote a beautiful article here, full of love and wonderful expression.

Voted this UP, etc.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Mary, I appreciate your tears. You give what you have . . . compassion. Thanks for your very kind comment.


Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 22 months ago from Saginaw, Michigan

Wonderfully written poignant story of your relationship and love. I love a story that is full of emotion like this. Well done.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Reynold, this comment coming from you, means much to me. Glad you like the story.


A crying frog 22 months ago

MsDora, I am not signed in, and you may, or may not recognize who is commenting here, but I have tears filling my eyes too.

This moved me, and I really appreciate you sharing this true story.

I just know he looks down upon you with a love that knows no boundaries, and you deserve every inch of it.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 22 months ago from london

An extremely beautiful piece, Dee.

Well-written and very touching indeed!

Life touches us in so many different ways, and we all share a story. Yours is a very poignant and yet blessed one, however intangible it may seem.

Beneath this all, we know that God loves us unconditionally, and continues to touch us with His Love and mercy. In Light and Peace.

Manatita


Edward J. Palumbo profile image

Edward J. Palumbo 22 months ago from Tualatin, OR

Beautifully done! Clearly, there are circumstances we can't control. I hope Life is generous to you and the future is marvelous.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Crying. I can only guess that you have an understanding, compassionate heart, and I appreciate your perspective. Grateful!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Manatita. thanks for your kind comment on the article and the assurance of God's love. I appreciate you.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Edward, I embrace your hope for me. Thanks for such an empowering comment.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England

Hi MsDora, what a beautiful, sad and poignant story, and like others it did bring me to tears too, what a wonderful man that brought you such lovely memories, and that photo at the end was beautiful in so many ways.


Michael-Milec profile image

Michael-Milec 22 months ago

Excellently put together in human words ever present spiritual existence in your life. My heart " rejoices with those who rejoice.'"

God bless you , prominent writer Ms Dora.

Voted up and beautiful.


Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 22 months ago from Hyderabad, India

Awesome presentation, Dora. Very sorry for the occasions and happiness missed by you. But we have to see the better side of it- the moments you spent with him and the solace you had in it. And then, we have to carry on. This is life. You can't stop regretting for ever.

Voted up and awesome. And wish you all the best.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 22 months ago from Queensland Australia

Simply beautiful MsDora, everything else as well as that has been said. Thank you for taking Bill's challenge and turning it into this wonderful tribute to a man you loved. Voted up.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Nell. I appreciate all your kind thoughts.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Michael, thank you for sharing my joy, and for the motivating title you conveyed on me.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Venkatachari, thank you for your perspective on carrying on, and your best wishes.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Jodah, the challenge seemed so appropriate when I considered regret as a door to memories. That is definitely the wrong door. Thanks for your kind comment.


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 22 months ago from Victoria, Australia

Beautifully written! Such a moving tale - thank you for sharing.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thank you, Blossom for reading and leaving an encouraging comment.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 22 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is so beautiful, Dora. It fits Bill's challenge perfectly, but more importantly, it's a very moving story and a wonderful tribute to your friend.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thank you, Alicia. I appreciate your encouraging comment.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 22 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Such a lovely story and a beautiful tribute though the end should not be a regret as you spent so many beautiful moments together.

Love is forever as they say and joyful memories are everlasting.


MVKilgore profile image

MVKilgore 22 months ago

Wow...this is the first hub I have read of yours...well done. I am happy to say I am still married to the love of my life and my only true regrets are in regard to academics. I sorely wished I had finished college...but, I am not too old, just very busy.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Rahan, thanks for your beautiful contribution.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Victor, I'm also happy for you concerning your marriage and love life. The regret you can be cancelled if you make time. Hope you will.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 22 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

Thanks for sharing this story, MsDora. It gives us a small glimpse into the many facets of your life as a woman, a writer, a creative thinker, and more importantly, a friend!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 22 months ago from USA

Dora, this was touching and beautiful and I thank you so much for sharing this story. Even though he was not with you as long as you both would have liked, I am happy that you reconnected. Voted up and more, and sharing. Beautifully written.


sujaya venkatesh profile image

sujaya venkatesh 22 months ago

a good narrative


ArtDiva profile image

ArtDiva 22 months ago from Yountville, CA

A very moving response to the challenge. Always in our heart, love is never lost and no regrets for those moments shared with someone loved.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Denise, your comment proves you to be a woman of understanding. Thanks and you're a pleasure to know.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Flourish, love is indeed a beautiful topic. Thanks for reading and sharing.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Sujaya, glad that you like my article. Thanks for reading.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Margaret, I agree: no regrets. Thanks for your feedback.


justthemessenger profile image

justthemessenger 22 months ago from The Great Midwest

Beautiful. This "Door to Nowhere" challenge has inspired some good literature.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

James, I agree. Thanks for your comment.


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 22 months ago from Northern California, USA

What a very moving story. I have many regrets in life. Your story reminds me to be more present in life and live it as it arrives.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Marlene, well said! Thanks for summarizing the message so beautifully.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 22 months ago from The Beautiful South

Happy Valentine's Day, Dora!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

So sweet of you, Jackie. Thank you, and the same to you for what's left of Valentine's Day.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 22 months ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. Life is certainly too short for regrets. How wonderful that you could be together and you could love one another and the memories will continue to shine.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Rose, thanks for your encouraging comments and your votes.


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 21 months ago from Jacksonville, FL

A memorable essay. I felt as if I had snuck into your diary, Dora, and was discovering your innermost secrets.

Regret, in itself, is a door to nowhere, isn't it? Regret is not worth indulging in.

In general, men (with some exceptions) are less verbal than we ladies. Sometimes we females need to observe the "actions speak louder than words" adage.

Thank you for sharing!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 21 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Marie, you're so right. It's something we have to learn because sometimes we are even afraid to interpret the actions when we see them. Thanks for your observation.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 21 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I went to a class reunion a few years ago and found many changes in those I knew. I guess we were all feeling our way back then. I think you touched on a common emotional situation in which many of us regret not following through on events and relationships.


izettl profile image

izettl 21 months ago from The Great Northwest

Well written and reminds us how time is precious. I had a boyfriend that suddenly died when I was younger and that was a huge lesson for me and my life after. I'm married with kids and a family now but my love that died will always be true love for me. Love is love and we should be thankful we get it at all- some never experience that.

Beautiful pictures in this hub too!!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 21 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Don, thanks for understanding and sharing that regret calls on all of us at some time.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 21 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Izettl, so happy for you that you were able to move on and enjoy family life. Your experience with your first love might well be a factor in your present situation. Thanks for sharing.


swalia profile image

swalia 11 months ago

This was outstanding! Tragedy with so many lessons to teach. I loved it Dora.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks Swalia. Always looking for purpose in every thing that life offers.

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