I am so thankful that as I look back over my life that I don't have any serious regrets. Through God's grace, His provision and His faithfulness, I have experienced His blessing and guidance over the years. He has provided all that I have needed and even more. I have had a good life.
But I wanted to clarify that fact before I share today's blog. As probably is the case with each of us, there are some things that I could have done better or at least differently. But please understand, I am not complaining.
For example, I wish that I had done more to thank my parents for all the sacrifices they made to provide for me. They lived through very difficult times and circumstances when I was growing up, and now, after raising my sons, I realize more than ever what they did for me. Hopefully I treated them with love and respect, but I wish now that I could thank them even more.
I also wish that I had visited them and my in-laws more often as they grew older. I now realize how older parents value visits from their children and grandchildren. They make our day and we look forward to them. After the deaths of my mother and mother-in-law, we tried to visit our dads regularly. But we could have and should have done more.
I wish that I had spent more time with my brother during his 15 year battle with cancer. He endured so much pain but yet he was always so positive and caring for others. His Christian life put mine to shame. I guess I never thought that the Lord would take him home at such a young age and now I wish that I could talk to him again. He always encouraged me.
I wish that I could thank my seventh and eighth grade English teacher, Miss Enck, for all that she taught me about English and writing. You never dared to go to her class unprepared. She was tough, but fair and she had high expectations. I learned more from her in two years than from all my other English teachers combined. But I never thanked her.
I also wish that I could thank my college math prof, Dr. Robinson. Not only did he teach me to enjoy math, but he encouraged me to become a teacher and his advice helped me enter a 39 year teaching career that I thoroughly enjoyed.
I wish that I had taken Spanish. Instead I spent years "learning" Latin, French and German and today I can only remember a phrase or two from those languages. That was wasted time. If I had learned Spanish I could communicate with so many folks who now are part of our community. That would have been much more practical.
I also wish that I had continued my piano and trombone lessons so that I could play those now that I have time to do so in my retirement years. But we never owned a good piano when I was growing up and it wasn't much fun to play the old one that was in our basement. I did play the trombone in the high school band for six years but didn't have much incentive to play it after graduation. Then I gave it to my grandson. Now I think I might enjoy it once again, but probably no longer have enough "wind" to do so. I also wish that I had learned to play the cello and baritone.
I wish that I had spent more time talking to my parents, grandparents and other relatives about their lives and especially their childhood days. The history and their experiences are now of real interest to me, but most of these details are now lost and gone for good.
I wish that my parents would have had enough money to have my buck teeth straightened. My problem isn't obvious to many, but I have a terrible time biting some things, like onions, and at times that can be embarrassing. I could have had it taken care of when I was an adult, but then I had sons who needed to have their teeth taken care of and that was a greater need.
And I wish that I had spent more time with them when they were growing up. It is amazing how time flies and those years are gone so quickly. I spent many hours working extra jobs to pay our bills, but that took time away from them. Maybe I should have done more with them.
I wish that I still had my extensive baseball card collection which now would be very valuable. I had all sorts of complete sets spanning many years and many types. I was a serious collector growing up. Unfortunately, it all "disappeared" from my parent's attic and is now only a memory.
I wish that I had more knowledge and training in computers. I also wish that I had had access to all the technology that is now available when I was teaching. As a teacher I was able to keep up with things and was one of the first to use graphing calculators in my classes. I also purchased and established the first computer lab in Lancaster County. But then I was able to attend and even lead training and inservice sessions which are no longer available to me. Losing that access for 15 years is like a lifetime with technology. And the recent explosion of technology makes it very difficult for a "senior mind" like mine to keep up with technology without help, money and access.
And finally, I wish that I had listened to my dad over 40 years ago when he told me that one day I would regret planting all the pine trees and bushes that I did when we bought our house with its "bare" yard. Then we planted dozens of little seedlings which we purchased for just ten cents. Today many of these "seedlings" are now well over 60 feet tall and have already cost us thousands of dollars to have them trimmed or removed. Dad was right.
I guess we all could say ... could of, should of ... about many things in our lives. But I'm not complaining. God has been so good. I have had a good life and I thank Him for my many, many blessings. Have a good week!