sidetracking regrets

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seize the moment

My thoughts are haunted by what could have been...or should have been. I have regrets. If I could go back in time to when she still lived, I would, in a heartbeat. I would travel back in time...a time so long ago when I was young and ignorant. A time when I followed so closely in my mother's footsteps and did what she did and said what she said and thought what she thought. I would go back and unfollow everything. You see, my mom had no patience with her. My father, on the other hand, was the opposite. He loved her, nurtured her, helped her, bathed her, cooked for her, spent her lonely hours with her so that she'd have companionship. He mowed her lawns, made her breakfast, lunch and dinner and called her to check up on her before bedtime.

She was foreign to me and because she spoke polish, I couldn't understand her most of the time. Her broken english was just that, broken. And like my mother, it irritated me. She was like a dinosaur...she wore her house dresses and aprons and support hose that went up to her knees. Her shoes were very black and stern...unyielding, uncomfortable looking things. She had hair on her chin and her teeth clicked when she spoke.

But her smile was warm...and her complexion as soft as a baby's.

And she laughed. I remember her laugh.

I remember the way her housedresses flowed to and fro when she walked.

I remember the old steel gray cooking stove...you could actually stack wood in it to cook if you wanted.

I remember the lace curtains that hung in the windows.

I remember the hollihocks that grew outside near the porch....they grew so tall!

I remember warm summer nights when we would visit and play football on the freshly mowed lawn.

I remember her home cooking...the handmade pierogis and golumpkis...so delicious.

I remember that she tried so hard to speak our language...and I remember that I couldn't be bothered by that.

I remember the day that she called our house looking for my dad, and because I barely understood her, I was short with her....like my mom would have been.

She fell and broke her hip and from then on her days were few. I didn't visit.

The phone call came when I was working my first job...she had died. I was sad but at least it wasn't my "other" grandmother...otherwise I would have been devasted.

How stupid. How utterly senseless. My grandmother...my babcia, traveled here from Poland with her new husband when she was 18. They bought a farm and worked it, but he suddenly died at a very early age. We were all that she had left. She tried so hard to make her life worth living...she gave love. She gave herself.

And I didn't see it. Didn't want to see it. You see, I wanted to be like my mom and I acted accordingly. I did a damn good job.

And then I woke up. Woke up too late, but at least I woke up. After she died, my dad said to me one day..."you know what? She loved you. She always asked about you, always wanted to know how you were." I had no idea.

Many years later my father died as well..at a very young age. 62. Died on a business trip. Never came home. It was May. 1988. Friday. Friday the 13th to be exact, when I got the call.

I never got to tell him that I love him...never got to say "thanks dad, for waking me up...thanks for the football games...thanks for the good things that you brought to my life." Never got to say I'm sorry for being such an idiot. Never got to say thanks for loving me in spite of myself.

Never got a chance to say "thanks for the gift of knowing you"

We all take people that we love for granted....we think that they're always going to be there. Guess what? They won't be. One day you're going to get that phone call and if you haven't said all that you wanted to say, then it will be too late. Sure, you can visit their grave and spill your guts...but isn't it worth picking up the phone or making a surprise visit just to say you love them..or thanking them for all that they've brought to your life? My regrets have turned into a life lesson...so

Do it...now. Tell them how you feel and then you won't have regrets.

Bynote: I do love my mom....she has changed and so have I. I love her dearly.

Babcia,.....grandmother.....I love you with all my heart and I miss you. I just wish that I would have taken the opportuinty to get to know you better. I am so sorry.



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Comments 10 comments

Reves-diary profile image

Reves-diary 4 years ago from Dhaka

I am quite touched by your story. We hardly wake up when we have the ones that love us.


moonfairy profile image

moonfairy 4 years ago Author

thank you Reves-diary. this hub comes from somewhere way deep down inside. She's been in my thoughts for months now and I felt there was a reason why. so I wrote my heart out.


eddiecarrara profile image

eddiecarrara 4 years ago from New Hampshire

As I read the story about the visits, phone calls, football games in the front yard,wood cooking stove,and curtains,I flashed back, like I was sitting in the rocking chair in the kitchen, I had a crystal clear picture of everything you described, I could even smell the dried hay in the barn as we slid the barn door open, and don't forget the stuffed pheasant in her front porch.

I could hear her soft spoken, broken English voice saying edfish,edfish. She loved the Red Arrow fish plate dad used to bring her, and he never missed a day.

We should not look at the past as a failure to connect, but be grateful for knowing that they were a part of our lives and have helped us become who we are, even after 3 decades, they are still shaping our lives in some way. So even tho you thought it didn't matter then, it did. They touched you deep, you just need to grow in order to understand.

Great hub, awesome memories :)


moonfairy profile image

moonfairy 4 years ago Author

thanks bro...they are great memories and I still suffer from growing pains!! I thought those would go away as I got older, but these are a different kind of pain. Writing that hub brought me peace because I said what I needed to say. Thanks for the comment and I love you very much, always and forever.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

What a great hub! I wrote one similar about my father's death and I know what you feel. This is beautifully written, passionate and from the heart. All qualities I admire in a writer...or just a person.


moonfairy profile image

moonfairy 4 years ago Author

thanks billybuc, I always very much respect your feedback!


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

Oh my, I honestly cry on this hub!! When you talked about your grandma, how it's too late for you to realize, i remember mime. i never said i loved her. until now, i just cant say goodbye to her. she will forever live inside my heart. and now, i;ve learned a great lesson, i always tell people i love that i love them..i dont want to wake up again one day and say, 'im too late.'


moonfairy profile image

moonfairy 4 years ago Author

that's awesome, unknown spy...we've both learned important lessons. I too, always say I love you...and I speak those words every day of my life. thank you for your comment. I wrote this hub with my heart and am glad to have shared it with you.


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

yes and i thank you too for sharing those memories and experiences. you never know, you can help change a person out there. life is too short to lived it with pain, hatred or pride. for you may wake up one day, that the person you love is already gone...


moonfairy profile image

moonfairy 4 years ago Author

I agree unknown spy...thanks again =)

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