Monday, October 17, 2011

What haven't you done?

I've lost three friends lately, although only one of them was close--a woman a bit older than me who has befriended me for years. I liked and admired her and looked forward to our visits--she was always upbeat and fun to be with. We cared about each other's families and compared notes, shared memories of the good old days. Then there was the husband of my high school best friend--I knew him of course. We'd had good visits, most recently when they were here two or three years ago for a weekend. He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, active in his community and his church, devout. We differed politically but that's minor, and I was fond of him--above all because my friend loved him and he made her happy. Then there's a man who I may not have seen even in passing in ten years but when our children were little, his then-family and my then-family were close--makes me think how people and family situations change. This man was exactly my age. So each of these losses hit me in a different way but each had its impact. I said sort of idly last night that it's hard when your contemporaries die, and my neighbor looked at me and asked,
"If you didn't wake up tomorrow, what would you have not done that you want to do?" He went on to point out that I've raised beautiful children, I have wonderful grandchildren, I've had a good career, I've finally written the mystery that I wanted to--I could have added and I've been to Scotland. That was a biggie for me.
Those of you who read this blog frequently know that I often end a post with "Life is sweet." I told Jay last night that's why I want to wake up in the morning. Religious theory about the afterlife aside, I'm probably happier with my life now than I ever have been. I want to eat right, exercise, do all those things so I can keep enjoying this good life.
No, there's not much in my life that I really wanted to do and haven't yet done--but that doesn't feel like an ending. It feels like a beginning, because I always find new things I want to do, accomplish, new plans to make, family visits to anticipate, a new book to write. No regrets but I'm sure not ready to get off the merryground.
How about you? Is there something  you'd regret not having done?
Thunder is rolling outside, and Jacob claims he can't sleep because there's a tornado outside his window. He's in my bed now, but still bright-eyed. I have given up the idea of constructive writing for the night. Even so, life is sweet--just extra busy this week.

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