This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada, which closed in 2021.
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Love, Aging, Regrets

I am growing older.

But that is not so bad

Because I have loved.

Not always wisely

And certainly,

Not always well.

When I consider my age

and the way I have spent the years,

I have some regrets:

Things done

And things undone.

But I have no regrets about the loving.

I remember every love

And there is not one that I would erase.

What regrets I feel about love

Center on the moments missed

Either because Fate

Chose to part us

Or because we had not yet met.

I regret every night

Not spent in love's arms,

Every morning

That found me waking far from your reach.

I regret every beautiful sight

Not shared

And every funny moment

that brought only solitary laughter.

I regret every illness

I did not tend,

Every sorrow

I did not comfort,

Every jacket

I could not brush,

Every tie

I could not approve.

I regret every second

That was not made richer by your presence.

Yes, I regret the moments missed

When distance, time, or circumstance

Separated us.

But, even more, I regret

The moments missed when we were together.

How I wish I could rework them!

The nights

That saw me too tired to respond;

The confidences I was too impatient to encourage;

The sympathy I was too self-centered to feel;

The flash of temper that stopped you short.

I regret

That I did not realize sooner

How fleeting life is.

Had I known that

I would never have let

A day pass

Without saying

I love you.

Joan Sutton's essays on Alzheimer's, caregiving, and becoming a widow are now available in a book, The Alzheimer's Diary.

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