Ring Regretfulness…

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Being home means I am faced with reality… Meaning… I can’t ignore the fact that my dad is dead and my mom has been left with everything… Including a house full of their things…

So… I find myself here… In Shreveport… Helping mom make her way through… Well her life…

And I honestly haven’t had a clue how this would go… I haven’t known what to do at all.. Up until this point I’ve basically told myself and others that my nervous and anxious and just left in the dark on how to handle someone’s things when they’re gone…

And so mom decided we should start in dad’s office… Which might be the most difficult place because those are his things… His business… His moment to moment life was basically contained inside of that room.. But she wanted to start there… So… I didn’t argue…

Life and death are interesting…. When you’re here… I feel like you don’t think about being gone one day… So caught up in the moment, we move from one place to the next…

But I’ve noticed so many things that make the absence of a person standout so well… And it’s more than them not being there to welcome you home…

For me… for me it’s been smelling toast for another room and thinking for a split second that my dad is in the kitchen making something to eat…

Or waking up hearing the television and coffee pot knowing that dad is sitting on the couch…

Even sitting in his office had me thinking he would be home at any moment…

But then there have been the moments that remind me that he’s not here… Like seeing medical bills and funeral information… Or seeing that a house hasn’t been built in his name in a year…

Hand writing lives on after someone is dead… His is everywhere… Scribbled all over his note pads, boxes and things… It doesn’t disappear when the person is gone… Sure it unique to the writer… But it’s always there…

And I think the moment that caused me the most grief was stumbling upon 6 University of Alabama ring order forms…

Before I graduated the school started sending out reminders for rings… And dad called me everyday for weeks… And he’d say, “Come on Amanda, you should have a ring. You need a ring. You are graduating from the University of Alabama… and you need a ring.” My answer would always be the same, “no dad… I don’t need a ring. I don’t wear my high school ring. They are a waste of money.”

And of course he would banter back with things like, “But what you’re in a job interview one day and someone sees that ring?! It’s a real conversation starter. You know?! It would say a lot about you.”

But I was so set on what I thought and told his $400 was too much for something that would sit in a jewelry box…

And since that moment… Well I’ve thought about those conversations a few times… Halfway wishing I had one… But it wasn’t until I found 6 advertisement fliers that I lost it…

I just started crying… More like sobbing…

Because the fliers weren’t together… They were strung throughout October-December 2012 paperwork… Meaning my dad really wanted me to have a ring…

And when my mom saw me crying she asked why… And when I told her… Well she followed with “yeah your dad really wanted you to have one of those. It was a big deal to him since he didn’t go to college.”

And in that moment I felt myself filled with guilt… Sadness… Grief… Regret… I think it’s the first time I’ve felt regret over the loss of my father…

And each time I came upon a flier I cried more… Wishing I had just let him send the $400 on something that meant so much to him…

He did get me a huge frame to place my diploma in though… Which now I realize was such a big deal for him… For me to have a gift that displays my education completion… Since he never had that…

But I guess without moments like that… Without moments of regret… Well life won’t be life… It wouldn’t have these thoughts that say, “Really? really?!?! I really acted like that?!?”….

Regret is part of death… Part of the end of something… Part of realizing that you’ll never be able to go back and do something again… It’s a teacher… I being that reminds you that the decisions you made may not bring joy in the present…

And I guess I just have to move forward… I can’t really allow it to bring me down…

However, I did look at rings last night… Just out of curiosity… Thinking for a moment… Well I could always buy one for myself… But then it’s not the same at all… Even though I’d like it to be…

So I guess I’ll move forward and let that be… Sure I’ll discuss it from time to time… It’s a moment I wish I could take back… But I can’t… And that’s just another reason life is just life… And we should just live…

I should and will choose to just live…

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