Blessed Regrets

Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh – Henry David Thoreau

I was just thinking about regrets and blessings. There are many examples of each in my life. Some regrets have even turned into blessings: blessings of wisdom.

To the little boy in Colorado Springs: I am so sorry I stole several of your favorite matchbox cars. My pockets were full when I got home. I remember my mommy got a phone call about it. I told a lie and said I didn’t have them. But I did. I moved away, and had those cars for many years. As a teenager I remember finding them amongst my treasures. They were a reminder of my evil deed. I never forgot it. Even now, 34 years later, I still remember what it felt like to steal and lie. Those memories have helped me to try my best to be honest.

To the boy at the bus stop in Cody who I punched in the nose: I am so sorry I hurt you. You need to know I had a bully which wouldn’t leave me alone. Every single day he would run up behind me, hit or kick me, and then run off. I decided I had taken enough. You just happened to have the exact same coat as him. When you turned around, it was already too late. I was swinging. But I remember the shock and guilt of that moment. I learned a great lesson that day: revenge is not a good thing. Please forgive me.

I don’t remember the name of the first boy with the cars, and I never knew the name of the other boy with the bleeding nose. I wish I did. I would make my apology personal. I would make it right.

There are other skeletons in that particular closet I would love to get out. But, the closet has been cleaned and painted, and doesn’t offend me any more. I keep the bones there to remind me. Those old bones are friends to me now. The skull has a wise brow, the toothy jaws wear a smile, the bony hand gives a cheerful wave. It’s OK.

I will someday have the chance to make those things right. I look forward to it.

To the boy who I called friend, who played with me in the apartment complex parking lot, who called me over to the sidewalk one day to see what you were doing: I forgive you for pee-ing all over me. At the time, I was devastated. You laughed loud and I cried hard. I forgive you just the same. It taught me to not be cruel to others. Thank you for that wonderful lesson. I also hope you have a blog. I hope you have shared some of your blessed regrets.

There is no couch here and I don’t charge by the quarter-hour, but what do you think? Are you grateful for the lessons you have learned, even the painful ones?


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