This I Believe by Alison Brown
I believe in living without regrets. I believe it’s best to move on and forget about the “shoulda, coulda, woulda’s”. I believe that everything happens for a reason, whether it is immediately obvious or hidden and vague.
Last year, my family got word that my grandfather had been diagnosed with bladder cancer. When I was told, I shrugged it off thinking nothing of it. Granddad would pull through, he’s never been sick in his life.
My mom would be on the phone with him and mouth to me that I should talk to him. I was always too scared to talk to him about how he was doing and how doctor visits were going because I knew he would tell me exactly what I didn’t want to hear.
A few months later we visited my grandfather and I saw him for the first time in 3 years. He lay frail in a hospital bed, not even close to depicting the strong man I once knew. As I put on the required gloves and gown I walked towards him and fell speechless. We barely got a word from him and he would not eat or open his eyes. When I did spend time with him alone, he did say things that he always used to say to me, like “sweetheart” and “pretty girl.”
He passed away a week later from his cancer, and my family struggled with the “shoulda, coulda, woulda’s”. We had not kept in touch with my grandfather when he moved away, and with his passing, there were regrets. Shoulda visited. Coulda called. And I woulda lost my mind if I kept thinking that way.
Through this experience I have learned how to twist my regrets and find something positive. I have a grandmother that I don’t reach out to. I have a friend that I could find a little more time for. Rather than sadness at not knowing my grandfather better, I have gratefulness that I learned a lesson early enough to improve some relationships that I don’t want to regret.