On Saturday, we went to the Old Settler's parade here in Olathe. Arun, Anjali, and I met my dad at my Great Aunt P's house to walk over to the parade area. We then had our own parade down Memory Lane as my dad recounted his same stories over again. Outwardly, I rolled my eyes and said "Oh Dad, you tell this same story every year". Of course, I actually cherish those stories. My own great-grandfather used to go to this fair when he was a small boy himself, after all. Why wouldn't I want to hear the story about how the Old Settler's celebration used to involve actual settlers and "covered dishes" consumed in the town square?
Anyway, much like most fairs, the food theme was If It Ain't Fried, It Died and as such, we thoroughly gorged ourselves on some Grange Pups. As I pushed my sleepy set of 6th generation Olatheans in their stroller back to car at the end of the day, I could not help but hug myself a little. What a nice, beautiful day it was spent people-watching with my dad. I fervently hope that someday Arun and Anju have the opportunity to roll their own eyes at me.
Um, what's up with that whole segue thingamabob????
We visited my Great Aunt P today. She is 87 and has been sick for the past month. Although, to be fair, this doesn't mean the end is near - in my family the grand old age of 87 is not necessarily in the twilight of your life. Anyway, it became apparent during our visit that she has been feeling poorly enough that she had been reflecting on many of her life's choices. And wishing she had done some things differently. I can understand that sort of mental meandering since I had just been doing some myself last week. I pointed out to her that I was only 36 and had already racked up my fair share of Regrets. I did insist that she should not dwell on her own regrets, though. What I did not tell her is that if her end is indeed near, I did not want her to be in that particular state of mind. She agreed that she should not dwell and then she acutely observed "One must not have done much at all to not have any regrets. " I try not to have Regrets because I ended up exactly where I had always dreamed of landing anyway. I know that certain "mistakes" in my life fully and wholeheartedly prepared me for the life I have today.
We say that life is too short to have Regrets, but cannot life be too long to have Regrets? Furthermore, it made me wonder -- how many people have been so paralyzed by the fear of Regret that they failed to make a decision at all?
This is where I wish I was that writer. You know the sort. The type of folk who can pound out a paragraph that gets you in the gut. But truly, all that happened today is that my heart got all twisty and scrunchy at the thought that my Great Aunt P could die tomorrow and have all these regrets weighing on her.