Not Doing It
I am completely ignoring my horoscope which said that I would be better off just to stay in bed . I have to admit I was a little more careful than usual driving this afternoon. I also have to admit that I forced myself to close my browser when I found myself paying way too much attention to a 2014 Mustang convertible V-8 GT that is on sale at a local car dealership. Maybe I should stay in bed before I do something I regret.
The one thing I don't want to do in my life is regret not doing something. I know how to repair mistakes I have made, things that I said that I should not have said, things that I did that I should not have done...but regretting not doing something seems to me to be costlier, more infinitely out of my reach of reconciling.
I was 37 years old when I met my father. He journeyed from California back to North Carolina, his home state, to die. A friend of his contacted me and asked if I would visit him in the hospital which I did. My mother and he parted ways when I was two years old and I had no memory of him whatsoever. My mother never spoke about him.
When I entered the hospital room, he was asleep and I wasted no time in studying him, imagining what could have been, fantasizing about how my life would have been with a father. After waking up, he turned over and looked at me and said something like, "Haydn, you came." After 35 years, how did he know which of his three sons I was? But he did.
It did not take long and the pain of regret of not having been my father surfaced. He began an overwhelmingly painful re-creation of his past, of the monumental opportunities that passed him by for one reason or another and he eventually centered on the most painful of all...of not having been there for me and my two brothers. This was no reconciliation of those events but an acknowledgement of the fact that it was out of his reach. That time had passed.
"I know you can never forgive me for leaving," he said.
I replied, "If you came back to North Carolina to seek my forgiveness, you wasted a trip. I forgave you a long time ago. It's OK. I understand."
That was all it took for the floodgates to open and from my part, I did enjoy being my father who I would never know but who for that instant, I embraced without being able to provide any comfort or release. It was only a short time later when he died. I do not miss him because I never knew him.
Time is a holy sacrament that gives the invisible its shape. Time is the element transforming the invisible to visible, the unmanifest to manifest, the thought to physicality. If there was a present under the tree and in that box was your dream come true, what would it be? Are you willing to go through life not doing it? Are you certain you can live without doing that particular deed?
I want to get one more look at that Mustang.