Six small letters that can hold the weight of the world. I don’t have many regrets in my life that I haven’t been able to redeem in one way or another, but as I was sitting in church last Sunday listening to Zak preach about Father’s Day and being able to make peace with regret - specifically surrounding fathers and dads... I was brought back to the last time I saw my dad awake and alive.
I was a freshman in college, attending K State and I had come home for the weekend. I was visiting my boyfriend and my family and (sadly) at 18, the boyfriend took precedent. He was my high school sweetheart and very much a part of the family, so of course he was with me when I visited my parents. I’ll never forget when we arrived at my my dad’s house, it was blazing hot outside - September in Kansas, but inside the house it was quiet, dark and cool. My dad was in bed, not feeling well and my boyfriend had things to do, so I was in a hurry. I only had a couple of days in town and I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible. I went into my dad’s room to chat for a few minutes. (I’m a daddy’s girl and even if a few minutes was all I that I got this time, it was a enough for me.) A few words, a kiss on the cheek and hug goodbye - that’s how I left.
I regret not staying longer.
I regret not saying a prayer.
I regret not knowing that it was the last hug. The last kiss. The last “I love you.”
Had I known, I would have stayed. I wouldn’t have had plans. No plans were more important than the time I’ll never get back.
After listening to Zak preach on Sunday, I have started the process of forgiving myself for being selfish with my time. My dad knew I loved him. He knew he was my hero. He knew he was my best friend. I don’t regret our memories together, only that there aren’t more of them. When my dad left this world and went to Heaven, he went with a full heart, knowing he was loved. He wasn’t regretting our last time together. He loved me and he knew that I knew it!
Reframing the reality of our last memory together has been a catalyst for healing. It was full of love, of him for me and me for him. There is nothing to regret about that!