We all have them. I think it's impossible to live a life with absolutely no regrets I think that's why we have the saying, "hindsight is 20/20"...or something like that.
I definitely have my share of regrets in my life. There have been plenty of times that I wished I could take something back I said, say something that I chose to keep to myself, reacted differently to a situation...the list is endless. My reunion journey has been no different. When conversations did not go well I would think of all that I should have said differently. When opportunities arose to ask questions and I didn't, I would get so frustrated at myself for letting the moment pass by without mentioning anything. When I needed to do something just because it was the right thing to do and I didn't, I would wonder over and over again if the choice i made would haunt me later.
I know I'm not alone. I am sure everyone has something they wish they could go back and change. However, since that time machine has yet to be invented, there is no other choice than to move on. That is something that I have been trying to work on. It's hard, but I'm trying.
So, back to the story... The night before the funeral I talked to my birth mom. I didn't go into a lot of detail about my feelings, our relationship, not really feeling a part of the family, etc, but I did touch the surface on it all. We had a very good talk and she said that she understood. She told me that she had a lot of regrets about how she treated me and how she handled our relationship. She sounded like she truly did see where I was coming from and that made me feel very relieved.
At the end of the conversation, I told her that I would not be there. She again told me that she understood and apologized for things not being different. I thought that I had made the right decision. That was until the next morning.
I hadn't slept well the night before and woke up feeling very unsettled. As I was driving to school, I kept thinking that I should be driving an hour and a half the opposite direction to the funeral. I was constantly looking at the clock thinking of her and what she was doing as it came closer to the time for it to begin. Even though I had a very good conversation with her the night before, I could not get her off my mind. The what-if's were starting to set in and I was afraid I'd regret my decision.
I am always looking for 'signs'. Since I am a terrible deciison maker, I always play games with myself and look for a sign to help me decide what to do. Not being there was driving me crazy. I didn't know what to do. I told her I wouldn't be there. Now I was regretting it. I had a hundred other thoughts going through my head, so I decided I needed a sign. I was going to call my birth mom and if she answered, I was going to tell her that I would be there. So, I did. And she didn't answer. That was my sign.
I arrived at school and started the day. I usually do not keep my phone out because I do not have time to talk while teaching, but for some reason I did. Halfway through the morning I saw my phone flashing, so I knew i had missed a call. It was her. She had left a message.
I had my teacher's assitant watch my class while I stepped out of the room to check it. When I heard her voice I lost it. She sounded so sad. She told me that she was sorry she missed my call. She went to the funeral home by herself to say goodbye to her mom. She said it was very hard, but something she needed to do. She said that she really wished I was there and that would have been good, but she understood. She said she loved me and would call me later that night. Oh...sometimes life REALLY sucks!
Do I have regrets about my decision? Yes, I do. However, I have come to look at all of this as a learning process. I don't think there is anything that can prepare you for this journey. There is no amount of therapy that you can get to ensure you that you will make all the right decisions and get through this without an ounce of regret. It's impossible. So instead of beating myself up over my past, I'm trying to learn from those mistakes. Maybe it will get easier down the road. At least it's a start, and I think I owe that to myself.