‘Regret and Perspective’

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I intended to go a very different direction with this post, but got some unexpected news last Friday that changed my tune. Many years ago, when my mom and I moved from Miami to Lakeland, Florida I met an older man who lived across the street. His name was Alex Young and he grew up in Tucson, Arizona. He also spent time in combat during the Korean War. When I met him he was well into retirement, but he wasn’t idle…not by a long shot. He was forever tinkering with something in his shop and I was his helper whenever I was free. He liked woodworking, metal, all of it. He was very industrious and liked being useful. He was, as they say, a man’s man and I loved the guy.

Over the many years since we first met, Alex began suffering from a number of health issues. I won’t get into all of them, but I will say that it always hurt me to see him suffer. He has always been such a proud, strong man and I knew he wasn’t happy with his new predicament.

We didn’t meet as much as I’d have liked to since I left Lakeland. I would always stop in and say hello when I was in town for a visit, but since I got back from Indonesia a few months ago, I kept putting off going over. Everyday I’d have this internal debate about whether to go see him this or that day. The next thing you know, I’m in a car and on my way to Denver. Alex passed a week and a half later.

My heart sank when I learned the news. It’s sinks now to think of it. I will always regret not going to see him. I know it would’ve made me sad to see him in such poor condition, but that’s not a good enough excuse. He would’ve been happy to see me. I have to live with that now. I vow to never make that mistake again. Don’t put off today what may not come tomorrow. Time and time again I am reminded that the future is promised to know one. Show those you care about how much they mean to you. Hug them, call them, write…whatever. Life’s to unpredictable not to.

Alex, I’m so very sorry. I will miss you.

Love,

JB

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4 thoughts on “‘Regret and Perspective’

  1. I am very sorry for the loss of your dear friend Alex. When we lose someone we care about, we always wish for one more day, one more conversation, one more hug. It happens to all of us. If Alex was a “man’s man” as you say he was, then I am sure he would prefer that you remember him that way. Make peace with yourself and be proud that you were friends with a man who was generations apart from you. That rarely happens in todays world. Sending love and hugs to you from all of us……..

    • Thank you so much, Ms. Martin. That’s very sweet of you. It really was shameful that I didn’t go see him, but I know you’re right. It’s never truly enough, is it.

      Love you all much and look forward to seeing you…even that son of yours!

  2. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that JB. I remember you saying you needed to visit him when we were there. Life takes over and we follow the paths we think we should. We can’t live on regrets but we can learn from them.. Your story reminded me so much of my favorite song of all time. Its called, I believe, by Brooks & Dunn.
    Hope you’re settling in well, love you much! Brenda

    Ps.. Sandy.. Very nice read..

    • Thank you, Brenda. Yeah, it’s very sad, but there’s nothing I can do about it now.
      I’ll have to check out that song. 😊
      I’m settling in. Actually signed up for Internet today, but don’t be there til the 19th I think. We can try to Skype then!

      Love you too!

      JB

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