I would stay in the moment instead of the past or in fear of the future.
I would listen more and talk less.
I would laugh more and cry less (unless the tears were happy tears, i.e. the birth of a baby, a graduation, a wedding).
I would smile more and frown less.
I would play more and work less.
I would give more and take less.
I would hope more and fear less.
I would hold you in my arms as much as possible and kiss your cheeks, even when you pushed me away.
I would take more pictures so I could look at them later…now…while you’re so far away.
I would take my dogs out running more, to play “fetch” and give them a lot of attention and praise and leftovers.
I would let my kitty cat sit in my lap or walk on the counter tops.
I would clean my house less and relax with my family more.
I would be more forgiving and less likely to hold a grudge.
I would have learned to set boundaries a long time ago, but with gentleness and love, not out of fear and anger.
I would have gone to see my dad, grandparents, uncles, cousin, and great-grandparents more before they died.
I would be more understanding when you needed to pull away and be more independent.
I would bake more cookies and watch more movies with you, pass the ball more, plant more gardens, push you on the swing more often, take you fishing more often, and read many, many more books with you.
I would shoot more hoops, dance in the rain, color and paint, sing along to the radio, and play more board games with you.
I would sing you to sleep more nights, and tuck you in every night as long as I could before you grew up and didn’t want to be tucked in anymore.
I would be less afraid to get in the lake or river water with you or to jump off the high dive with you.
I would be less afraid of the crowds at your dance recitals, swim meets, games and school functions.
I would go to all of your dance recitals, swim meets, games and school functions.
I would trust more, and know that no matter what happened everything would be okay.
I would give you more praise when you worked hard to get good grades, or cleaned your room, washed dishes, helped me with your little sister, or took out the trash.
I would tell you how beautiful you are and what you mean to me, every single day.
Likewise, I would love the way I look regardless of my size.
I would be less negative and critical of you, your choices, or your opinions.
I would not hold your past or your mistakes against you.
I would have been more confident of myself and my talents and abilities and shared all of that with you.
I would have told you more about where you came from—about my family and what was important to us and to me, what we believed, and how those beliefs were changed by what we experienced.
I would have told you my dreams.
I would have said thank you for being my: Dad, Mom, Sister, Friend, Husband, Son, Daughter, Uncle, Aunt, Cousin, Grandparent, Niece, Nephew…
I would have given you more of myself and my family traditions.
I would not have let myself think I wasn’t good enough to be your Mom, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Niece or Friend.
I would see you and love you for who you are.
I would have stayed when it was the right thing to do, and left when it was time to leave.
I would not have waited until now to realize how much I threw away.
I would have written a book a long time ago, and many more after that one…
I would be grateful every day, for everything no matter how big or small.
I would shine brightly for all the world to see, to give others hope and encouragement, and help them see their own divine light.
I would love more, and not allow hate to reside in my heart for even the briefest of moments
December 17, 2014