What I would do over…

I would have

  • known my mother better. There are so many questions I’d like answered. What did she like the most about being a mother? What was her most frustrating moment? Her saddest? What memory did she treasure the most? If given the opportunity, what career would she have wanted?
  • not argued with my dad two months before he died.
  • found a better way to communicate with both my parents so I could hear the words “I love you.” They signed birthday cards “love, Mom and Dad” but I don’t remember hearing the words. And I would have found a way to say good-bye before they died.
  • sought out relatives or other adults to be mentors in the absence of my parents. I was too stubborn and too determined to stand on my own feet, but I needed guidance and an elder’s wisdom.
  • paid more attention at school and practiced better study habits.
  • worked better at saving money throughout my whole life.
  • treated myself with more respect and dated better guys.
  • found other ways to communicate with my first husband in order to persuade him to seek help for his anger. I tried, but too late. And my message didn’t resonate. Maybe no message would have. I won’t say I would have married someone else because that would mean giving up my four daughters. I cannot imagine my life without them, in the past or present or future.
  • walked away from the marriage when my girls were younger. All that anger and abuse caused more harm than I understood.
  • worked smarter at being a good mother, using more effective messages to prevent daughters stumbling onto bad life paths.
  • made wiser career decisions.

What I have done, am doing, and will do…

  • told my children “I love you” every time  I put them to bed as children, and tell them every time I say good-bye now that they are adults.
  • answered any and all of their questions about my life, about their lives, about anything really. I have always done this and always will. If I don’t know an answer, I don’t make up one.
  • find ways to be in the lives of my grandchildren, even though we don’t live close to each other.
  • learn to accept my faults, to let go of guilt or shame I have for not being a better person.
  • learn to accept the faults of others.
  • strive to be a better mother, wife, friend.
  • communicate more effectively in all aspects of my life.
  • learn to count my blessings.
  • have prayed, am praying, will pray.
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