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When I Am Old and Gray... I Will Not Regret

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When I am old and gray and sitting alone, remembering the noise and the laughter that once filled my home...

I will know. I was present. I soaked it in. I cried from the beauty of her. I took in the days with him.

I lived.

I smelled the sweetness of her sweat while she slept. I touched his damp hair and felt his beating heart. I wrapped him up in my arms even when he would no longer fit. I looked her in the eyes and breathed the moment in.

I will not regret, for I have lived a life.

I was there.

I am there still.

I have taught her the value of welcoming the consequences to a heart that is awake and lucid. I have sat with him in the beauty of a mistake, and stayed silent so he could learn the lesson meant for him.

I can almost feel it.

My empty home.

I fear it.

Not the beautiful empty nest years, but the lonely, phone not ringing years.

I fear being a women without a purpose. My sole savior will be no regrets.

A life well lived. A purpose fulfilled. A childhood marked with wonder and flaws.

Will I wonder?

If I was enough?

Will I wonder?

If I did enough?

To teach how to live a life with an open heart and a wicked questioning mind.

To hold their hands in mine and remember how their pinky wrapped around mine and the pitch of their voices.

To not forget.

To hold on.

Not in a needy, grasping way. But in a strong, reassuring way. Even when I don't feel either.

There is only one life. There's so much I don't understand but this I know.

You can feel the pain. You can embody the scars. You can be patient. You can be love. You can be kind. You can be wise and whole.

You can walk out of hell and into the light. You don't have to run away from life.

You can be present.

You can change.

You can use your words as healers or weapons.

You can break cycles.

You can.

You can live this life and be present inside of it. You can do all of this.....

And you can still forget.

Forget the sounds of them laughing. Forget the sounds of them questioning. Forget the sounds of them growing.

So for now, I am here. I am here in my life. Holding on. Trying to remember. Trying to freeze moments.

Exhausting myself creating memories that will stay.

Learning what tradition looks like in a family.

Finding my way. So that they may find theirs.

Stumbling, leaping, falling, laughing, holding, sobbing, fearing, learning.

I am here.

I will not forget.

I will not regret.

I am present.

I will remember what whole felt like, so I can carry it in my heart for when I am feeling not so whole one day. When I am grieving the loss of a full, busy, questioning life.

I will remember the gift of something to question.

I am here.

I will not forget.

I will not regret.

I am present.

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