When we heard the news that Kaycee wouldn’t be with us much longer, I think our whole family was stunned. It wasn’t that we knew she would be healed. That was always uncertain.
It just seemed so sudden….so abrupt.
We knew she had bad mornings, but she never complained to us. We told her many times it was ok to complain….just a little. When her vision became blocked from the tumor on her brain, she would try to focus on our faces, smile, and say in a quiet voice, “What good would that do?”
Her predicted six weeks turned into one, and that was when we knew we’d had her much longer than we should have. She painstakingly worked that last week to make sure we would be ok.
This was one of her last messages:
You all have no idea how much you’ve made this easier for me. I’m smiling and getting the peace I need from knowing we are a family that is sealed for time and all eternity. We will never truly be apart. You all know I will be on the other side waiting and helping you all so we can be together again. It will go by fast but slow. But we have the amazing family that we do to make it. Live life! Have no regrets. I love you all!
As I’ve stumbled on into the New Year (for life doesn’t stop), I’ve thought a lot about her admonition to live a life with no regrets.
The realist in me says it’s a mathematical impossibility. If we live a timid, fearful life where we try to make no mistakes, we’ll regret the things that never happened. If we take risks and try to live a full life, we’ll make regrettable mistakes.
The first 20 years of my life I was the former. The last 10 years of my life I’ve been testing the latter. What a wild ride it has taken me on! It hasn’t always been pretty, but I know that I’ll be able to live with the mistakes I made while trying rather than saying “What if?”.
Yet, a serious refocusing has been going on at our house. Dave and I have had many late night discussions about plans for our little family. I’ve spent hours holed up in my room, trying to find the right step forward. Not a lot is clear right now.
The most consistent message that touches me, always gently, is this:
I have had this nudging before. It’s a bit frustrating. I like fresh, new starts, don’t you?
Through all the late nights, and what appeared to be a dream property in Maine that tempted my wanderlust heart, the message keeps appearing in one form or another.
So, my friends, I’ve made a few tweaks and this is the plan for 2016.
- I’ve made a truce with my painting. You wouldn’t know it from the outside, but we’ve been frenemies since I was little. Sometimes painting is fun. Sometimes it makes me mad. I finally realized that since college, I’ve had it in a hostage negotiation, demanding it make some kind of living for me. I decided to release my hostage. Hopefully, whenever it sees fit, we can rediscover our friendship.
- Dave and I are going to build our dream house on our horse property, but not yet. I know….I know. You all want to see our plans and watch us get that thing up! This news may disappoint you, but there is good news on the horizon. We are selling our house in 2016 and building a house. I can’t wait to share our plan (and Dave’s wisdom) with you. Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts on this subject!
- I’m giving the middle finger to rushing. If my husband or sister read this, they will laugh and say, “When have you ever rushed in your life?”. It’s true that it’s not in my DNA. I know there are deadlines to meet and planes to catch, but if I can’t be present or intentional, life is not worth it. Not to me. When you lose someone you love, it puts a sharp light on the things that matter. Yes, there will be times of pressure. Life isn’t perfect. But I am telling you now, I’m not going to jump in the middle of the circus. When I’m busy, it will be on my terms and in a way I can manage my own stress levels. That, friends, will be a life that I won’t regret.
What about you?
What would your life look like with no regrets?