Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Wish

I am sure that every person who has lost someone they loved has regrets - those moments when they think "I wish I had done....".

I'm having lots of those moments this week.

In a way I was fortunate that we knew ahead of time that Cyndi would probably die [though I would not wish death by cancer on ANYONE, certainly not my dear friend].

But, because we had "warning", I was able to say the things to her that I wanted to say to her - I was able to let her know how much I loved her and how much she meant to me. I was able to articulate things that I never would have said if she had been taken suddenly in a car wreck or something.

But at the same time, I truly did not believe in my heart that she would actually die until 4 days ago - when I spent Mother's Day with her. It was not until then, when she had deteriorated so badly so quickly, that I realized she was not going to beat the cancer.

I mean, logically I *knew* that the odds were very poor. I knew that evidence pointed to the fact that God was not going to send her a Miraculous Healing. But when you talked with Cyndi - she never conceded. She never believed she was going to die, right up to almost the very end. She fought like Hell and she never believed the cancer would beat her. And when I was with her, it was so easy to believe that she was right about that.

And, thus, even with "fair warning", there are so many things I wish I'd done....

1. I wish I had asked her if there were things she wanted me to do for her children through the years. Were there special things she would have wanted me to do for their Confirmations, their weddings, the births of her Grandchildren.... I wish I had asked. I plan to be tenaciously involved in her children's lives anyway [I love them like my own], but I wish I had thought to ask her what she would have wanted me to do for them.

2. I wish I had gotten to spend more time with her the last two years. We were so sick all the time for the last two years that we had to stay away a lot. [I lived in fear that we would expose her to some germ or other while she was immune compromised and that we'd cause her to die before it was really her time]. Because we were so sick and contagious all the time, I did not see her as much as I wish I had. [I did see her every time we were healthy enough and she was healthy enough....]

3. I wish I had left my lost cause of a rotten ex husband two years earlier than he abandoned us. Dealing with him and his problems consumed my life so completely [for 15 years actually....but even more so at the end], and he was just not worth it. I wish I had spent that time with my friend instead. Of course, I made vows promising to love him and care for him, and I fulfilled those vows *completely* and always to the absolute best of my ability. But I still feel it was wasted time, and it was time lost that I could have spent with my friend before she died, and I will never get it back. [Harboring some resentment towards my Ex for this now.... one more thing I have to find a way to overcome].

4. I wish I had taken more pictures of Cyndi. We were best friends for 11 years. When I went back to look at my photos, I found that I had literally many hundreds [probably *thousands*] of pictures of her children, but only about 2 dozen of her. And I have only 3 of she and I together. This is normal I guess - she and I were always the ones behind the cameras, taking the photos. But still - I wish I had more pictures of her.

5. I wish I had planned a "Lord of the Rings" movie marathon with her before she died. Those were our favorite movies, and I wish we'd gotten to watch them together before she was gone.

6. I wish she had lived to see "The Hobbit" released in film.

7. I wish I had learned to sew from her. She offered over and over and I never had time. [because of #3 above]. I always hoped there would be time later for her to teach me, and now that time has run out.

8. I wish I had asked her for that oatmeal muffin recipe she made that our kids loved so much. I always meant to and never did.

9. I wish I had told her how much I loved her and how much she meant to me sooner than I did. It was just a few months before her death that I shared with her how much she meant to me. She was more like my Sister than a friend, and it wasn't till close to the end that I expressed that to her.

10. I wish I had told her more frequently through the years how much I admired her and how much her example meant to me and how much her Godly advice helped me.

These are my top 10 today. Tomorrow there will be more I'm sure. I imagine I will be saying "I wish" about Cyndi for the rest of my life.

Maybe we should all take a moment to think about the people who mean so much to us and maybe we should make sure we take the time to let them know - really, truly let them know. Because most of us probably do exactly what I did and lose so many precious opportunities with the people we love.

If you knew that someone you love was going to die tomorrow, are there things you would regret not saying or doing? Why not say or do those things today?

God bless you.


  1. I'm currently reading "Council of Dads" by Bruce Feiler. It is about a dad (who is an author), who was diagnosis with cancer when his twin daughters were 3. He then choose 6 men in his life that he wanted to be involved with his kids if he passed away, and he told them this and why... and how it effected everyone involved relationships. Interesting reading, both as a "planning tool" and just food for thought (how important relationships can be and what happens if you actually talk to people).

    I'm so sorry to hear about your friend.

  2. Maureen, that sounds like an awesome book! I wish I had a "council of Dads" for my poor kids. Or even just one male who would take an active part in their lives. :(

  3. Interestingly enough, what I'm getting out of it at this point (I'm not done) is the importance for me to develop/involve other adults in my life (and collaterally my kids lives). And how much that this really benefits me and how those benefits overflow to my kids. So many times at this point of my life, I have a tendency to overlook, or not put as much value/importance, the adult relationships I have with others. Everything is so focused on kids, caring for parents, health, that I forget how powerful good social ties can be, and how I need to work on those. Sort of like my marriage (which I know you aren't in one). I have to work at that relationship. I always make time for it. Friends/close family (i.e. my sister, some long time "soul" friends) I should put a value/importance to working at those relationships as well. I do recommend the book.

    What about the Big Brothers organization? Isn't your brother and dad at least a little involved? A little involvement is better than nothing. Have you told him how much it means to you?

  4. Maureen, my dad is active with my kids, which is very good. He is a wonderful man. My brother is very busy and tries to help us as much as he can, but he does not do anything with the kids specifically.

    Once the dust settles for us, I do want to seek out more male role models... I just have to be healthy enough to manage it for more than a few days at a time! ;)

  5. This breaks my heart, your "I wish" list. You were a good friend, Kelly and some people never even have a friendship like that.

    Thank you for this thought-provoking post and I will continue to pray for Cyndi and you.