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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Remorse

photo by Chris McKenna
“Do you have any regrets?” my friend asked me after she sent me a link to a piece about the “Top five regrets of the dying.”
 
So I began looking back on my 60 years of life, considering the things I regret. These things didn’t happen when I was a child, I have forgotten those mistakes long ago.

This is a short list, there are others. It’s a list of things that, if given a second chance, I would not do again.

I regret not noticing the artificial Christmas tree laying on the floor in the store and hitting the hard edge of the trunk with the top of my foot. I especially regret not wearing laced shoes that day. The bruise that formed on the top of the foot kept me confined to bed for a weekend and required an infusion to stop the bleeding.

I regret standing on the sofa to hang a picture on the wall -- it starting a knee bleed – the joint damage from that incident still pains me twenty years later.

I regret tripping over the cord that led to my father’s heart monitor in the intensive care unit of the hospital. I lost my balance and slammed my head on the wall and had to leave my father’s bedside to be infused in the emergency room.

I regret ignoring the shoulder that ached while I packed and lifted the boxes of books. I regret thinking the increasing pain was muscle strain and not a bleed into the shoulder joint.

I regret having so many packages in my hands that I could not see the newly paved walkway was not even with the asphalt driveway. I fell hard on the concrete smashing my glasses, bruising my face, my hand, my shoulder and my knee.

I regret the times I have been in a hurry or preoccupied with thoughts and emotions. I regret the injuries that could have been avoided if I had been mindful of what was in front of me.

"The knowledge of the past stays with us.  To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and fears, the clingings and disappointments of the past that bind our spirit." Jack Kornfield