Yesterday I sat in the chapel of our local funeral home saying good bye to a special lady. The service was very well done and fitting for her, but as I sat there, I was filled with regrets.
When Michael and I started dating, we spent time with a couple down the road who had been very good friends to Michael. They were senior then. Shortly after we started dating Dan passed away, leaving Willow on the farm on her own. We visited still. We walked the farm, drank tea and played with her cats. I took home handmade dishclothes and wore the handmade socks and mittens she gave us.
When we married, she gave a beautiful quilt. A quilt that Lena still sleeps under to this day. She made Lena a baby quilt and probably knitted her some goodies, too. I remember one of the last visits out to the farm, I changed a tiny little Lena bum on the kitchen table.
After that visit, we never went back. Nap schedules took over and we moved further from the neighbourhood Michael grew up in. There wasn’t any real reason why we stopped visiting. Just life happened and visiting Willow fell by the wayside.
She moved into a local nursing home, one I drove by regularly but still I didn’t stop. Just a few weeks ago, Michael’s mother had mention that Willow was asking about us and we talked about taking the girls in to visit her. But, we still didn’t go. And, now, it’s too late.
I sat on that padded chair in the chapel and thought about all our visits out the the century farm. All the tea and cookies we shared. All the lovely handmade things she showed or shared with me. Why couldn’t I have taken a bit of time out of my week to pop in and chat? Am I so self-important that I can’t take some time for other people, people who mattered? I sat there regretting the choices I made. Regretting the time that was too long. Regretting that my children won’t know her. Regretting that I let life get in the way of a friendship that I did treasure.
I know this is said all the time and I hope that maybe it might sink in this time. Sink in with me, sink in to anyone who has also sat during a funeral with regrets. You never know. Take the time. Make the visit. Say I love you. Makes amends, if you need to. Please, really, take the time to visit people who matter! Spend time with your family. Hug your babies. Love your spouse. Don’t sit like me at the funeral home, with regrets.
To be continued,
PS I think that there was a good square dance happening in heaven when Willow and Dan were reunited, though!