This is another topic suggested by Scott Berkun, “Make a list of things you wish you had said.” Once again I am going to put my own spin on this. I may come up with a list, I may just write about some things I wish I had said.
I know we all have experienced interactions where we wish we had the right words, or at least the words we wanted to say, at the tip of our tongues so we could have followed up a comment or action as we wished. I know I have had many such moments. I also know that in hindsight, most of those words I wanted at that moment ended up being better left unsaid. That’s probably the case in most of those instances.
On the other end of the spectrum there are the things I said, or didn’t say, to someone as my last interaction with them. What are the last words you wish to have anyone in your life hear you say? I am not being morbid here, rather, what is the impression you left with anyone and everyone you remotely care about? What if, God forbid, something happened to them, and you never saw that person again? What words or thoughts did you impart on them that may end up being the last things they think on this earth? I think about this from time to time. I always want the last interaction with the people I love to be friendly, loving, caring, or at least cordial. Now I don’t always succeed in this practice. I do try though. I would hate to think my last words to my wife or kids was anything but loving and/or caring.
Sometimes events happen without warning, or they happen during a time in our lives where we can’t be bothered. I hate feeling like I couldn’t have been bothered. It’s up to me, it’s up to all of us. If we come across as if we can’t be bothered then more than likely it’s a lack of effort on our part. I bring this up because I have missed out on visiting, speaking, or praying with people in my life who have since gone on to be with our Lord.
My aunt (my dad’s twin sister) passed a while back and I wish I had taken the time for one more visit with her. Just a chance to talk to her and reminisce about our lives. She was a missionary to Bolivia for most of my growing up years. I remember the celebrations we would throw as a family when she would return home after years away. I remember the talks we would have before bed time when us kids would stay with her. I remember her love of the Red Sox, the USA, The Bible, our Lord, our family, and the smile that had taken permanent residence on her lips. I remember her eyes, even when she battled her health before she died. The eyes are the window to our souls and you needn’t look further than my aunt’s eyes to see how her soul was faring. It mattered not what physically ailed her, not to her soul anyway. I remember that even though she didn’t have the means, she always tried to make a big deal about our birthdays. It was imperative that we had a meal together and spent time together, the most valuable gift. She was hilarious and had the quick wit that the rest of the Beal’s have. I wish I had said these things in a visit with her face to face. Now I wait for my time when I will see her in heaven and we can talk for eternity.
My dad’s mom, my grandmother, she too, passed. She went home to be with our Lord, many years after her husband did. She was a small woman, with a soft spoken way about her. She was wise, she was patient, she had a tremendous sense of humor, and she quietly observed everything. She never raised her voice but her words had a way of booming through our consciousness. The mind is a powerful thing and that is what we found ourselves using after speaking with her. She lived a long life here on earth, well into her 90’s in fact. I wish I had said how much she meant to me, and to my family, before she left us. I also await my time so I can be reunited with my larger than life grandmother.
There are more times and instances where I wish I had said this or that. In these two cases though, I had a chance to visit with them and I didn’t take it. The thought was in my mind often, but I never moved the action into the realm of my active priorities. I know I was pleasant in my last interactions with each of them, but I wasn’t above and beyond like they were throughout their lives. I wish I had said so many things.