Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Regret...the wheat from the tares

Life if full of regret. I find this to be especially true of motherhood. My oldest child is only five but I already feel like I have a basket full of guilt. There is the regret of places or choices I didn't make. I still regret not buying those U2 tickets. Four times they've come close, why haven't I gone to see them? I've given up regretting my O Chem grade. I'm the mom of three. No one cares. I guess regrets are just part of life, you pick some up, you let some go. Regret is just something you learn to live with. There is one moment in my life though that I just can't get over. I think on it at least once a week. In my mind I see it as a test that I failed terribly, and there is no going back. My sister and I were exploring Chicago, the Windy City. We'd left our car in a parking lot at the peer and had walked several blocks into the city to eat at the Grand Lux. The meal had been particularly enjoyable but the kids were tired, the wind was blowing, the sun had gone behind the sky scrappers, and it was getting quiet cold. We were rushing, wrangling our kids down the magnificent mile, trying to get across the street before the light changed and then I saw him, this guy, a kid really, sitting, slumped down next to one of the grand buildings. He was in clean jeans and white t-shirt on a cold fall day. He wasn't begging, he was just sitting, but something about his face just struck me. I wanted to ask if he was ok. If he needed some help. If he needed a jacket. I tried to look back at him as we crossed the street, but a car honked, and the light turned and I just kept going. When I looked back he was obscured by hurrying pedestrians. It is a moment I will always live to regret. Why didn't I ask if he was ok? Maybe he was perfectly fine. Maybe he needed nothing. Maybe he would have looked at me like I was crazy, answered me he was fine and I would have walked off with my kids and sister, feeling stupid but I would have forgotten the experience. Maybe he really needed help though. Maybe I walked passed someone who needed me and I missed it. Maybe some day I will have to answer to God for that one. I think of that moment when someone ask me for money in a parking lot. I think about that when I look at the extra coats in our closet. I can't go back but I hope to never miss another moment like that again.

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