turn back time. Yes, we all remember those song lyrics – ok, maybe those of you who are musically challenged don’t – at least most of us remember the chorus – If I could turn back time………….
Just read my last entry and thought, I wish I could turn back time. When I wrote that 18 days ago my father was only in the hospital and no one had told us yet that he was close to dying; in fact we didn’t even hear that until slightly more than 3 and 1/2 hours before he passed away. There was just no time to prepare; we tried to digest it while we ate lunch; we tried to deal with it while telling his sister-in-law, while discussing with her how to tell my sisters that they had given him 3 to 10 days; and we even were still dealing with it when we came back to his room to find that he had already passed away while we had sat in the family lounge waiting for his dialysis to be done.
Of course I went out to the funeral home’s website to see if anyone had left a comment on the guest book only to find that my ex-husband had left a really snarky one there about how he had wished that he and my girls had gotten to know my father better while he had been married to me. Really? Seems like he wasn’t all that concerned about much to do with my family anyway. Always had reasons why we couldn’t go to reunions or family get-togethers; to the point that we stopped getting invited to attend. I was looking for comfort or a memory that had been shared and I got snarky.
I remember growing up and my grandmother would always tell us she loved us – every time we walked in or out of her house; whether it was to go to the store or for the drive back to our house 3 hrs away. Her reasoning was that you just never know if that will be the last time that you get to tell someone that you love them. And I sit here and I try to remember if I had said I love you when I was leaving after our annual Christmas dinner or did I just say thanks for dinner Dad and good-bye?
For those of you that know me, you know that my relationship with him was not always the best. As my parents’ marriage deteriorated so did their relationships with their kids. Some of us just moved away from the pain and bitterness that was constantly spewing and others, it seemed, just didn’t let it faze them. Only if you really knew each other did you know how the other was affected. For me it was easier to just listen to my mother complain and say some of the worst things a parent could say to their child about their other parent; it wasn’t till years later that I started trying to seek out the truth – not that I ever found all of it; just found enough to perhaps balance out some of the things that got said. And enough to realize that totally walking away was probably not the wisest thing I have ever done.
So, I can sit here and be all full of regrets, not that that will change anything; or I can take this as one of those life lessons that smack you in the face and learn from it. I learned before that one should take time to find out both sides of a conflict before making a decision and that one should never rush into the decision. I also thought I learned that one should always say I love you before leaving those you love; just in case and so you don’t have regrets. Maybe I didn’t learn that one as well as I should’ve; if I could turn back time maybe I would find out that I did or maybe if I didn’t; at least I would be able to say it while he still could hear me.