#projectreflect12 ~ December 4: Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned


December 4: Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned

We all make mistakes, but sometimes those mistakes shape us as people. Was there a mistake you made in 2012 that taught you a major life lesson? What advice could you give to someone about not making the same mistake?


We certainly all, as a human race, make mistakes. Those same mistakes shape us as people, because the consequences of our actions/mistakes can stay with us for the rest of our lives. That being said, I wrestled with the idea of sharing this mistake with the world or picking something more trivial. Until now I’ve been in denial, trying to convince those around me & myself that it was the right decision. I can now with out a doubt say that it was undeniably a mistake. I will forever live with the decision made and I’m not even sure how to come to terms with myself.

You see I lost my grandmother this year. Some in the family would agree that at her advanced age and diminishing health it was for the best. For all intensive purposes it was expected and I had tried to ready myself for it. I think this is where I lost my way. In the process of coming to terms with death and because of my success at desensitizing myself to it. I simply chose to stay away. Even as I type this I fight back the emotions that have weighed me down since her passing.

I was at work and received a call from my very grief stricken mother. I suspected the worse and waited to hear that she had passed. Instead it was to implore me to head over in efforts to see my grandmother perhaps for the very last time. It took everything I had to tell my mother I couldn’t bear to go. I hadn’t even disconnected the call when my aunt who was by my grandmothers side called to give me the same news.

I did not/could not bring myself to make the trip to see her. I cried myself to sleep that night. As I thought about my mothers pain. As I pondered the blow my entire family would take from this loss. I called over and over also hoping to get an update saying everything was better. That my grandmother was OK, I now see the selfishness in even wanting that because of the pain she was and had been for sometime.

Bottom line is that I was too weak. As I fought to remember the vibrant woman who had helped my mother and father raise from the time I had reason, I reverted back to the child she use to coddle. All my bravado and heart full of resolve was crushed with the weight of my impending loss. When the call finally came, I told myself I was ready and tried to be there for my mother. After all death makes you really take account of what is going on in your life. I still thought I had made the right decision.

The day came when we said our final good byes and as I walked to her side and saw her body there lifeless it hit me so hard I could hardly breathe. I knew the moment I saw her and that smile, that had always been there for me even when others were crushed at her not knowing them, would never be there again. I will never forget that I had a chance to see her even if just for a few minutes so I could tell her one last time how much she meant to me.

I will never forget how many different people told me I should and I a grown man refused to listen to reason and behaved like a child. It is not lost on me that in a style true to her she’d teach me something so valuable for the rest of my life as an adult where many I love will leave me as I too will leave some loved ones behind. I can only hope to share this knowledge before it’s too late for someone else.