Wednesday, May 23, 2007

REGRETS -- BLOG OFF FOR BREAST CANCER

Regret is an intelligent (and/or emotional) dislike for personal past acts and behaviors. Regret is often felt when someone feels sadness, shame, or guilt after committing an action or actions that the person later wishes that he or she had not done.

"What Am I Supposed To Do About It Now? Past Regrets And Long Laments They Find Me Somehow, What Am I Supposed To Do About It Now? What Have I To Do But Fall Down?" --Jennifer Knapp
Regret is a pretty heavy burden to walk around this life with, and yet it is human for us all to have felt regret at some time in our lives.

With each week that has passed in this blog off I have found myself wanting to dig deeper than the week before and have something worthwhile for you all to read. Sitting here thinking of this word is hard for me. Mostly because when I do I think of my mum and all the time I lost with her.
When my mum first had breast cancer I was only 12 years old, maybe a little younger. Being so young, I didn't really understand a lot of what was happening. I just assumed the doctors would make her better and she would be here forever. She did get better and for 6 or so more years she was here. But when I was 18 her cancer returned and this time it was terminal. I was working at camp that summer when she was diagnosed. I could have made the decision to leave camp and go home and be with her. But I didn't, mostly because she encouraged me not to; she wanted me to enjoy my summer and be with my friends. And so I did. Sometimes when I look back on that decision, I regret it. I regret not spending those 2 months with her instead of 2 hours away at camp. When the summer was over I spent a lot of time with her. September and October of that year were times in my life I will never forget because I think that even though none of us said it out loud, we all knew those were our final months together as a family. When she was finally too sick to be at home anymore, we moved her to the Palliative Care Unit at the Grey Nun's Hospital in Edmonton. Looking back I know I should have spent so much more time in that hospital than I did. It wasn't because I didn't want to be with her, it was because it was too hard for me. Call it selfish--in some ways it was. But I never liked hospitals, even before she got sick. The smell, the white walls and floors. I was scared of being there because at the time it felt like I was admitting defeat, like I was willing to sit back and accept what was happening and I wasn't. And so I found excuses not to go, I had to work, I had school stuff to do, I have a birthday party to go to. Don't get me wrong, I spent time there and I cherish every moment I did but sometimes I feel like it wasn't enough and I regret that. Before she got sick I regret not spending more time with her shopping, having coffee and going for lunch. There are days now when I ache for that connection and I regret not enjoying it more when I had it.
Why say we don't have regrets in our life when we do? Is it that we are afraid that by admitting we have regrets we are saying we are weak? The defining moment of those regrets however is how we choose to deal with them, accept them and move on. There will always be a part of me that regrets not spending more time with my mum when she was still alive. But it is what it is and none of that matters anymore. She new I loved her and I know she loved me. She knew me better than anyone so I am sure she knew why being there with her at the hospital was so hard for me. She knew my heart was in the right place and she knew I did the best I could.
I have regrets in this life, that's no secret. The way I handled my mums sickness is not the only one. But what I also have is the wisdom from those experiences and how I handled them to help me through the next bump in the road. This is a post for the Blog Off for Breast Cancer. Feel free to click on any of the links on the right to check out the other blogs involved. Also, if you'd like to make a donation to Courtney, please click on the banner below.

13 comments:

Sketti said...

I'm not sure what to say...except I'm speechless! and that never happens! Great post hun! Very touching! x

This is the PUDDICOMBE CLAN!! said...

my dear friend...regrets are part of what molds us into being the people we are meant to be. Your mum is looking down on you from heaven, so proud of her incredible amazing daughter, who's heart is pure and made of gold...the most important thing a mum wants for her children.

Shawna said...

Many Blessings Yvonne.

Kirst said...

I agree with Sketti. Not sure what to say but you've done it again. Here come the tears. Another great post.

Andrea said...

Nice post! Yes, regrets are a part of life. Everyone has them. It's just how a person chooses to deal with them that is important.

Andie said...

Your are a beautiful person inside and out.

QueenieCarly said...

Like I told you a million times yesterday, that is a fantastic post. You've done a great job. It's raw and emotional and truly heartfelt. I really appreciate your honesty and I think you've said a lot of things that some of us may not even be able to talk about or admit to. Great job!

courtney said...

Girl, we need to talk. Our experiences are so very similar with the exception of the age difference. The summer my mother died? I was away at camp almost the entire time she was in the hospice.

Anyway, I don't want to get into it here, but I think that was a really great post and it struck home.

Tee said...

Incredibly touching story. Thank you for writing it.

Vegas Princess said...

This post is absolutely incredible. You have really grown as a fabulous writer and I have a feeling you may just win this whole thing. Wonderful post and really made me think, as well as tear up a bit. I believe regret is what molds us as a person because without it life would be too perfect and we would have nothing to strive for in the future when we look to fix those regrets later on.

Linda MacTravel said...

WOOHOO - I am your 2500th blog viewer! Do I win free tickets to, let's see...a Mariners vs. BoSox game?? HA! Your posts are great, Evey! You give a lot of thought to content, and always have a captivating entry. Again, job well done!

Jamie Dawn said...

We all have some regrets in life. I think that simply is because we are not perfect people with perfect lives and perfect thought processes at all times.
Your caring, loving heart is revealed in this post, and your mom knew she was loved dearly by you. That is not regretable. The lingering feelings of regret are natural and are there because you long for some of the time back that you could have spent with her. If truth be told, we all wish we could go back in time and spend much more time with those dear loved ones who have died and that we miss so very much.
Very lovely and touching post.
May any regrets you feel now spur you to love those around you more fiercely.

Georgette said...

I know exactly where you are coming from. There are so many regrets that I have too with my mom. I guess the thing that I try to fling to when the guilt of the things I did or didn't do before she passed was that she loved me and knew I loved her so much! I can't wait to see her in heaven!